Monday, April 23, 2018

Ukulele: My Roots Go Down Chord Chart

As usual, I haven't caught up with storytime posts. One of these days, I'm going to sit down and get a bunch of them posted all at once, but today is not that day. I did, however, want to share this great tree themed song in celebration of Earth Day over the weekend and Arbor Day this Friday!

Back when I was a child in the 1980s I had a cassette tape (remember those?) called "Two Hands Hold the Earth" by an artist named Sarah Pirtle. You can actually still order it on CD! I hadn't thought about it for a long time, but a lot of the songs really stuck with me. One of those songs was "My Roots Go Down" and I thought it would be a great tune to sing in celebration of the earth and trees so I set out to fond ukulele chords for it. In my search, I found a video by musician Isaac Zones of him playing the song, but with some slightly different lyrics, each verse about a different part of a tree. Isaac listed his email in one of the comments on his video so I emailed him and he was kind enough to send me a complete chord chart!

After finding a few different versions of the song by various artists, I was inspired to write my own verses. In my version of the song each verse mentions a different part of a tree and a movement you can have the children do along with the song. Using Isaac's chord chart as a guide, I made a chart of my own, in the key of C rather than G. This song uses two chords that we haven't used in any of the songs I've listed on the site so far, but they are both very easy: A minor and C7:

Fingering charts from Coustii

The rest of the chords are C, F, and G, which we have gone over in some of my previous ukulele posts. If you need a review, click here! Click read more for my version of Sarah Pirtle's "My Roots Go Down"!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ukulele: Starting a Circulating Collection

At the end of August 2017, I made a proposal to start a small circulating collection of ukuleles at my library. We finally got everything together and ready to go in February of 2018 and it has been a big hit so far! I'm hoping the collection maintains its popularity. I know many libraries have circulating ukulele collections, but I wasn't able to find a lot of information online about how they got their collections started. Fortunately, I was able to get some advice and assistance from a number of people from the Librarians with Ukes Facebook group which really helped me out! I wanted to pass on some of what I learned so I can hopefully help anyone else who is wanting to start a collection too.

My proposal focused on three main questions: why, what, and how? Those are the questions I would encourage yourself when you are thinking about starting a collection of your own.

Click read more for more information about the whys, whats, and hows for starting a  circulating ukulele collection.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Happy Read Across America Day!

I often make clothes to go with my storytime themes or for different library programs and events. Today is normally my day off, but I agreed to go over to the local elementary school to read to a couple different classes for their celebrations today. I had to stay up until nearly 2:00 am to get this dress finished in time, but it was worth it!

I've been meaning to post more pictures of my fun themed outfits, but I usually forget to snap pictures while I'm at work. I got a coworker to take one of my Dr Seuss themed dress today though! I wanted to hold a Seuss book for the picture, but all of the ones in our English collection were checked out, so I grabbed a Spanish one. Sadly, my Spanish skills are not anywhere near the level they would need to be to read this book out loud or run a Spanish storytime.

The dress is made from a variety of Seuss-themed quilting cottons. It's even lined with a white fabric that has Seuss book titles on it. I used Simplicity 1873 for the bodice pattern, but the skirt is just gathered rectangles. The dress also feature sizable pockets in the side seams of the skirt, also made from the white book title fabric.

Hopefully in the future I'll post more of my thematically appropriate outfits to this blog. I've made quite a few so far, but just haven't gotten good pictures of them. Originally my goal was to post pictures of those along with my storytime write ups, hence the lookbook part of my blog name!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Storytime: School


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Bob and Flo by Rebecca Ashdown
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins
Dad’s First Day by Mike Wohnoutka
Wow! School! by Robert Neubecker
Rosie Goes to Preschool by Karen Katz

Because of some weird scheduling I had one storytime theme that I was only doing with the all ages group and not the toddlers. This one happened right around the time that school started here. Yes, this has been sitting in my drafts folder since September! Most of the children who come to the all ages class are between three and five years old. I figured they will be graduating up to pre-k and kindergarten soon and many of them have older siblings just starting school so a school theme would be fun for them! Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes was definitely the favorite for this storytime. I didn't show a video or play the song but I definitely sang the words in the book with the official tune:

Kids and caregivers were snapping and clapping along with the rhythm. It was so much fun!

For school themed extension activities click read more.

Storytime: Numbers and Counting


Eggs 1 2 3 by Janet Halfmann
The Water Hole by Graeme Base
1-2-3 Peas by Keith Baker
Ones and Twos by Marthe Jocelyn and Nell Jocelyn
7 Ate 9: the Untold Story by Tara Lazar
Goodnight Numbers by Danica McKellar

As usual, I've gotten way behind on my posts. One day, maybe I'll catch up. I wanted to at least get one storytime post up during February though! I did this storytime quite a while ago, but counting is a theme that can be used any time of year. There are a wealth of books, songs, and rhymes that involve counting, so it's a great theme for a storytime! I especially liked Eggs 1 2 3 because it is a nonfiction book with information about different animals and the types of eggs they lay. The kids can guess what the animal is before you turn the page. The platypus one definitely stumped them!

For a small selection of the numerous counting songs and rhymes that are out there, click read more.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Storytime: Yoga


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Good Morning Yoga by Mariam Gates
You are a Lion! by Taeeun Yoo
Little Yoga by Rebecca Whitford
I am Yoga by Susan Verde
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power
Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo

Another in my backlog of drafts. I am so glad to finally get this one posted!

Full disclosure: I am not at all a certified yoga instructor. I've taken some yoga classes and that's about it. Some library systems may take issue with doing a "yoga" storytime without certification. I posted about this storytime on Storytime Underground and when others brought up this concern, Andrea, who runs the Yogilibrarian, suggested calling it "mindful movement" instead, which I think is a brilliant idea if you have any concerns.

This storytime was so much fun! I honestly wasn't sure how yoga would go for storyime, but it was great! I had a stand to hold up the books while we were doing poses together. The kids responded really well to all the movement and poses. They especially loved You Are a Lion because we made animal sounds together along with doing the poses. I have since purchased this book for my permanent storytime collection so I'll always have it available to use! One of the older boys who came to my storytime this day was so into it that he was asking for yoga books to checkout after the storytime was over, which definitely makes it a success in my book!

Click read more for song and rhyme ideas for a yoga theme!

Storytime: Pirates


Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime by Myra Wolfe
Bubble Bath Pirates! by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
This Little Pirate by Philemon Sturges
Pirate Nap: A Book of Colors by Danna Smith
The Pirate Jamboree by mark Teague
Swap! by Steve Light

I'm finally getting my backlog of storytime posts up. I'm doing them in no particular order, just whichever one is easiest to format first. This storytime was back in September for Talk Like A Pirate Day. It was a lot of fun and the kids were pretty into it! One issue with pirate themed storytimes is a huge percentage of the books are about white boys. I tried to make sure I had at least some diversity in the titles, but it was difficult. I solved this issue somewhat with my flannelboard where I made sure to include female pirates and pirates of color!

Click read more for fun pirate themed activities!