May 31, 2011

Poetic Conversations

On Thursday evening, June, 2 at 7 p.m., local poets Rosanne Singer and Liz Rees will lead a poetry workshop for kids and parents called Conversations. In this poetry workshop, participants will create dialogues between surprising speakers, such as a peanut and a shell, a button and a buttonhole, accompanied by artwork. The program is best for kids ages 5 up. Registration is required; to register, go to
Library Events - Manage Registration or call us at 301891-7259.

Posted by at 04:40 PM

May 30, 2011

Cathy & Marcy!

On Tuesday, May 31, two-time Grammy Award winners, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, will join us at both of our Circle Times. Come at 10 a.m. OR 11 a.m. to hear these amazing Takoma Park singer/songwriter/musicians who are known nationally -- even internationally -- for their instrumental virtuosity, wonderful music and great personalities. Cathy and Marcy are appearing at Circle Time to promote their new book/CD, Sing to Your Baby. All are welcome at this extra special event; no registration required.

Posted by at 08:05 PM

May 19, 2011

Ranger's Apprentice

Author John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series is one of the most popular in our library. So fans of the series will be relieved to know that Flanagan plans at least two more Ranger's Apprentice books. In my capacity as the children's book reviewer for Scripps Howard News Service, I recently interviewed Flanagan just before he spoke to a crowd of kids and grown-ups at the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C. Here's the story that resulted from that interview: Corner: 'Ranger's Apprentice' sorcery to continue after all | ScrippsNews

Posted by at 10:44 AM

May 17, 2011

Frog Time

Today's Circle Times had a frog theme. Our book was Leap Back Home to Me, written by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Matthew Cordell. This story of a little frog who goes exploring but always returns to his mom has a simple rhyming text, with a refrain that participants repeated: "Leap back home to me!"

We also learned several frog-related rhyming songs, acting out all the motions. Read on for specifics on these songs.

Here are some of the frog-related rhymes and songs we did at our two Circle Times today. These were taken from a book titled 1,000 Fingerplays & Action Rhymes edited by Barbara A. Scott.

Hungry Froggy
(Sung to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Hungry Froggy, Hungry Froggy
Catch that fly! Catch that fly!
See it buzzing this way
See it buzzing that way
Try, try, try
Catch that fly!

(Note: for motions, use your hands to try to catch that fly, then "buzz" your hands this way and that).

Jumping Frogs
(Sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Jumping frogs, jumping frogs
Jumping all around!
Jumping high and jumping low,
Then resting on the ground.
Jumping forward, jumping back
Will they EVER stop?
When they're tired, they will land
With a great big PLOP!

(Note: Have fun acting out the motions, jumping forward and backward, etc.)

If You're a Frog and You Know It
(Sung to the tune of If You're Happy and You Know It)

If you want to be a frog,
Blink your eyes.
If you want to be a frog,
Blink your eyes.
If you want to be a frog.
Don't just sit there on a log!
If you want to be a frog,
Blink your eyes.

Other verses:
say ribbitt, ribbitt
stick our your tongue
catch a fly
jump up high

Three Little Speckled Frogs

Three little speckled frogs
Sitting on a hollow log
Eating some most delicious bugs -- yum! yum!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool,
Now there's just two little speckled frogs.

(Note: count down to one and after that last frog jumps into the pool, the final version goes like this: Now there are NO MORE speckled frogs! Also, you can, of course, start with a higher number -- five little speckled frogs -- to make the song last longer. Finally, act out the song by setting your forearm in front of you as your "log" and using the fingers of your other hand as the frogs.)

Posted by at 12:40 PM

May 12, 2011

New Top Poet

J. Patrick Lewis, who has published more than 50 volumes of poetry for children, has just been named the new Children's Poet Laureate, a.k.a the top kids' poet. Lewis was chosen for the honor by the Poetry Foundation, which created the position of Children's Poet Laureate as a way to help adults understand that kids are naturally open to enjoying poetry. Lewis, who will receive a $25,000 cash prize, will hold the Children's Poet Laureate post for two years, during which he will give two major public poetry readings. Lewis was thrilled to be chosen; in an interview with School Library Journal, he exclaimed: "When I received the phone call, I immediately had butterflies, and they jumped up and began tap-dancing on my heart -- and that's where they are now!" You can read the full interview here: J. Patrick Lewis Named Children's Poet Laureate

Most of Lewis' poetry books are funny. Some favorite titles by Lewis at our Library include: A hippopotamusn't and Other Animal Verses, The Little Buggers: Insect and Spider Poems andThe Underwear Salesman: Jobs for Better or Verse. Lewis' poetry books can be found in the poetry section in our Children's Room at J 811.54 LEWIS.

Lewis also writes picture books, including The Snowflake Sisters and The Kindergarten Cat. These can be found in our picture book section under J PIC LEWIS. Here's a link to the Library's collection of books by Lewis:

Posted by at 06:26 PM

May 11, 2011

French Circle Time

Come to our French Circle Time this Saturday May 14 at 10:30 a.m.! Led by Madame Marie, this is a perfect way for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their grown-ups to have fun learning a little French.

Normally our French Circle Time -- the only one offered by area libraries -- takes place at 10:30 a.m. on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, from September through June. The 4th Saturday of May, however, is on Memorial Day weekend, so Madame Marie will be doing the second program of the month on May 21st instead.

You don't have to register for our French Circle Time programs; if you do, we can let you know if/when the program is ever canceled. Here's the link to register: Program Registration - Takoma Park Maryland Library

Posted by at 02:56 PM

May 06, 2011

Rick Riordan's Favorites

These days, Rick Riordan's books are the favorites of millions of kids around the world. They love the adventures and characters Riordan creates in his three series: the Percy Jackson books; The Kane Chronicles; and The Lost Hero novels. But it's always interesting to see what an author's own favorite childhood books were. That's just what The New York Times asked Riordan this week. Here's his response:
Rick Riordan's Favorite Childhood Books -

And here's my review of The Throne of Fire, Riordan's latest book, which is volume 2 in The Kane Chronicles: Corner: Crowning touches run riot in 'The Throne of Fire' | ScrippsNews

Posted by at 02:11 PM

Children's Book Week

We're nearing the end of the 92nd annual celebration of Children's Book Week, which this year runs from May 2 through May 8. For the third year, the Children's Book Council, which sponsors Children's Book Week, asked kids around the country to vote for their favorite authors, illustrators and books. This year, more than 500,000 kids voted. Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson books was voted Author of the Year and three-time Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner, whose newest picture book is Art & Max, was voted Illustrator of the Year by young voters. Here's a look, courtesy of Publishers Weekly, at some of the other winners, plus photos from the gala for winners held earlier this week. Author and Illustrator of Year

Posted by at 12:26 PM

May 05, 2011

Mother's Day Treat!

Come tonight -- Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. -- for a very special pre-Mother's Day storytelling program and craft activity. Our program features award-winning Berkeley, Calif. storyteller Patricia Bulitt who will tell the tale of How My Grandmother Found a Story in a Plate. Our program will conclude with a craft activity: all participants will be able to make their own family story plates -- a perfect gift for Mom or the other special women in their lives. Adults are also welcome to make their own family story plates. Registration encouraged -- but not necessary. If you want to register, please go to
Program Registration - Takoma Park Maryland Library or call us at 301-891-7259. Hope to see you at this great family event!

Posted by at 10:32 AM

May 03, 2011

Mother's Day Treat

Please join us THIS Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m., for a pre-Mother's Day treat as award-winning Berkeley, Calif. storyteller Patricia Bulitt performs her signature tale, How My Grandmother Found a Story on a Plate.The program is sponsored by the Takoma Park Maryland Library (101 Philadelphia Ave. in Takoma Park, Md.), but will take place in the Azalea Room in the Takoma Park Community Center (connected to the Library).

The program begins with Patricia leading the audience in a "talking sticks" exercise designed to open everyone's imaginations and get them ready to listen to her compelling story about the story her grandmother found on a plate hanging on her kitchen wall.

Our program will conclude with a craft in which everyone will be able to make their own "story plates," using paper plates and art supplies. These plates will make a perfect and unique Mother's Day gift for children to make for the special women in their lives, but adults also are encouraged to create their own story plates.

The program is best for children ages 4 up; adults are most welcome as well. Registration encouraged, but not required. If you want to register, please go to Program Registration - Takoma Park Maryland Library or call us at 301-891-7259.

Posted by at 06:26 PM

Mother's Day Rhymes

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 8th. Here are some rhymes that littles ones can learn to celebrate their mommy. Remember to act them out by squeezing yourself for a hug and blowing a kiss:

Mommy, Mommy
Mommy, Mommy
Here are my gifts.
A great big hug,
And a great big kiss!

In Mommy's Lap
I love to snuggle in Mommy's lap
And squeeze her tight like this.
I love to tell her I love you so!
And give her a great big kiss.

Posted by at 12:24 PM

May 02, 2011

Bedtime Stories!

Babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their grown-ups are invited to our monthly Bedtime Stories program tonight. The fun starts at 7 p.m., and we'll conclude by 7:30 p.m. In-between, we'll sing songs and rhymes, do some movement exercises and, of course, read some books. No registration necessary. Come in p.j.s, bring your favorite stuff animal or blankie, and prepare to have some bedtime fun!

Posted by at 03:22 PM
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