It’s finally live! My first article for Comics, Cosplay, and Geek Culture in Libraries…it’s called The Extraordinary in Ordinary: Why We Should Read Comics.
I look forward to writing some more, I’ll be doing coverage of local cons around the East Coast, so keep a look out for me (either at the cons or for the articles).
And now for some other news…my first weekly storytimes happened this week. And, wow. They were a lot of fun.
I had two storytime sessions for 2-3 year olds on Monday, a class for 10 to 24 month olds and a class for 3.5 to 5 on Tuesday. The kids were great. Taking my new position, I knew I’d be doing storytimes, but I was nervous. My predecessor had been doing storytimes with this group for years. I didn’t know how I would stack up. I also know that our styles of storytime are very different.
I’m all about singing and rhythm and dancing and movement. I sing the songs myself. There’s something about children’s music that drives me up a wall. There are very few ‘kids songs’ that I can listen to. So, I sing. And I hoped that the parents/grandparents/nannies would be on board with that.
I had been doing crazy amounts of reading about what storytimes for those age groups should look like, and there is a wide range of what is considered ‘best practice’. So, I cobbled together something and put it to the test. I’m always better at trial by fire.
The parents sang! The babies moved and grooved (mostly. Some just stared at me with pure confusion and concern)! And over all it went great. But, we will see. It might just have been a first week fluke. So, no counting eggs before they are in the basket.
Speaking of eggs and chickens, one of the books I read was Hurry! Hurry! by Eve Bunting, which is about all the farm animals rushing to greet a newly hatching chick. Well, I thought I was being clever and included a youtube clip of baby chicks chirping, just like the chick in the book. When I turned the page and the chick was supposed to be making it’s peep peep sounds, I clicked the video for the sound.
The kids froze. They heard the sound, but were looking at the book. They could not figure out why there were actual peep sounds. The parents got a kick out of it though. And the kids were looking all around, and staring at the speakers and doing their best to figure it out. So, I pointed to the screen behind me and showed them the chicks there. But, I think I just freaked them out.
For the older kids, the 3.5 to 5 year olds, I did a wordless book app called Lil’ Red. If you haven’t checked this book app out…it is amazing. It’s beautiful and fun. I love the creativity that wordless pictures books give kids. I picked a story that the kids already knew, Little Red Riding Hood, and had them retell it, based on the images on the screen.
For example, above, what is the wolf asking Lil’ Red? The kids really enjoyed the book, though they did seem a bit freaked out by the wolf. So, to make it less scary, every time the wolf popped up on screen I had them say with me, “Hi Puppy!” This made them giggle, and made it not so frightening. We also talked about not talking to strangers. Sneaky learning. Just look at that screen shot! Look at the images! What is Lil’ Red asking now? The use of color. The use of space. All wonderful. This app is worth every penny.
Anyway, I am preparing my sessions for next week, and cannot wait to see how it goes. I will keep you updated!