Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Storytime in the News!

The Orland Press-Register highlighted storytime at the Orland Library in last Saturday's newspaper. Read all about it! Reporter Rick Longley came out and joined us at storytime, taking photos and talking to parents.

It must have been a slow news week, because the paper had room to publish 4 photos. Here at the library we really appreciate all the great publicity we get from the Orland Press-Register.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Invasion of the Pod People?

Found this strange growth in the garden. It's gigantic. It looks like it's about to split open and some slimy creepy THING come slithering out. What is it?

It's a Casaba melon, and this is my best year yet growing Casabas. This one is a typical specimen. It weighs about 20 pounds. Casabas are huge football-shaped melons from Turkey, first grown in California (and maybe the United States) right here in Chico by John Bidwell. I got the seeds last year from Seedsavers Exchange, and this year planted seeds that I saved from last year.

They are absolutely delicious. Out-of-this-world wonderful. The flesh is pretty much the same as a cantaloupe, but better than any cantaloupe I've ever had---creamy, sweet, yummy, and highly aromatic.

For some reason, there is another melon that goes by the name casaba, which is more like a honeydew, and not as sweet as a Bidwell Casaba.  As far as I know, this is the real deal, just like General Bidwell used to grow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We're Hopping at the Library!

I didn't really have a theme for today's storytime, but we had a hopping good time, reading Who Hops? and If You're Hoppy and You Know It. Both these books have big, bright, lively illustrations and fun texts that pull the kids in. Both of them were fun to read. "If you're growly and you know it you're a dog, or a bear, or a tummy over there . . ."

As long as we were reading about hopping, we got up and did some hopping of our own, hopping along to the rhyme "I Saw a Little Rabbit Come Hop, Hop, Hop."

I saw a little rabbit come hop, hop, hop.
I saw his long ears go flop, flop, flop.
I saw his little eyes go blink, blink, blink.
I saw his little nose go twink, twink, twink.
I said, "Mr, Rabbit, won't you stay, stay, stay?'
He looked at me, and then he hopped away!

We also sang "Shake My Sillies" and "Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me." The flannelboard story was "The Hat" from Days with Frog and Toad, in which Frog gives Toad a hat for his birthday. The hat is too big and falls over Toad's eyes, but Frog solves the problem by telling Toad to go to sleep thinking big thoughts, while he secretly shrinks the hat. Toad is delighted, thinking that his big thoughts have made his head grow larger to fit the hat.

For a craft we decorated old CDs. I know two things to do with otherwise useless CDs, like the ones you used to get from AOL, or the ones from outdated software. One thing you can do is hang them in your fruit trees to scare the birds away from your ripe cherries or plums. The other thing you can do is make decorations with them. 

If you have enough of them, glue two CDs together so that you have two shiny sides instead of just one. Then glue on anything shiny or pretty---stickers, jewels, stars, foam shapes---whatever you like. String a ribbon through the hole and voila!---pretty, shiny doohickey.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Garden Glory

Our storytime kids like peaches, plums, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and green beans. Bunrab loves them all too. Today we talked about gardens and all the yummy things that come out of them.

We read Up, Down, and Around, by Katherine Ayres, and Growing Colors, by Bruce McMillan.  We sang Going on a Picnic and 10 Little Bunnies.  And we spent a lot of time talking about fruits and vegetables.

For our craft we made zucchini prints. I have a lot of over-sized zucchini anyway, so I cut them into pieces about 3 or 4 inches long, and then cut out the end into shapes like stars, hearts, flowers and moons. Zucchini is very soft, so it is easier to cut than potatoes. 
The kids pressed their stamps into paint-soaked sponges, and then onto the paper. To make a paint sponge for stamping, moisten a clean sponge. Put it in a plastic container, one with a tight fitting lid.  On top of the sponge pour 2 tablespoons of washable paint, and 1 tablespoon of white glue. Mix it around with a plastic spoon. Add more paint and glue in the same proportions if you think you need more.

The zucchini can't be reused, but the paint sponge can. Just put the lid on and store it in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your garden, and this great summer weather we are having!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hola, Amigos!

Today was the last day of our 'Round the World summer tour. I noticed that we hadn't done anything in Latin America---nothing from Mexico on down to Chile. So time to try out some Spanish!

We started with Hello World! Greetings in 43 Languages, by Manja Stojic. I gave this book to my grand-daughters some years ago, and if I'd remembered it, I would have borrowed it back sooner. Since they've outgrown it, I'm adding it to the library collection. It has bright cheerful paintings of smiling children around the world saying hello, from Aloha to Kia Ora, Amharic to Zulu.  Today we just looked at a few that we already learned.

We also read a Latin American folktale, The Rooster Who Went to His Uncle's Wedding, by Alma Flor Ada, and My Colors, My World: Mis Colores, Mi Mundo, by Maya Christina Gonzalez. This one is a bilingual book---I read it in English, but used the Spanish words for the colors.

We sang Bate, Bate, Chocolate, and counted bees from 1 to 10 in Spanish on the flannelboard.

The craft was a world mosaic, easy and fun to do. I have to thank Sheryl at the Chico Library for this idea.

Materials needed:

Blue paper plate
Foam sheets in earth colors (greens, browns, maybe some white, black, or blue)
Glue, hole punch, yarn.

Cut the foam into little randomly-shaped pieces. Give each child a paper plate, glue stick, and some foam bits. Let them make their world of continents and islands any way they like. When they are done, punch two holes in the rim and add a piece of yarn for hanging.