Sunday, January 29, 2017

Review: LifeGlow Felt

I love making felt pieces for flannelboards. I've only made a few so far since my job as a youth services librarian only just started, but I'm seriously excited to make new felt pieces every week. I know in time I'll build a big library of different flannelboards, but for now making them is a weekly occurrence as I make things to fit new themes. In the future, I'll do a write-up of my process if anyone is interested, but today I'm just going to talk about felt!


Not all felt is created equal. I do sometimes use the felt that comes in rectangles at Michael's or JoAnn. If I need a color and need it right away, there aren't many other options. However, the quality of felt from most craft stores leaves a lot to be desired. It's pretty stiff and scratchy. Stiffness, I'll admit, can be a benefit when trying to cut out complex shapes, but it does make the pieces much less nice to handle. I am on the lookout for somewhere where I can buy individual sheets that are nice and soft, but if you are in the market for a variety pack, Amazon has got you covered with a pack of 40 different colors by a company called LifeGlow.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: Chick-Lit Designs

Anyone who knows me will not be at all surprised to learn that I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to book and library themed clothing and accessories. From time to time when I purchase a literary themed item, I may post a review of it here for anyone else also interested in literary looks and lifestyle items. My first review is for the custom phone case I ordered from Chick-Lit Designs on Etsy.


I resisted getting a smartphone for the longest time, but eventually caved. When I finally got one, I knew I wanted a case for it that looked like a book, particularly a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Chick-Lit Designs kept coming up as I was searching, but the Alice case she had at the time wasn't quite what I wanted, though it was still very cute. I found that I kept going back to her Grimm's Fairytale case. I loved the design elements it had: the red color, the gold design around the edges, the central frames with an image on the front and a quote one the back. Fortunately for me, Chick-Lit offers custom designs. At nearly $50, the custom case was more than I had really wanted to spend on a phone case, but I knew I could also get exactly what I wanted that way so I decided to go for it.

I was not disappointed! Chick-Lit Designs was very easy to work with. She started working on a design based on my requests right away and communicated well about the small tweaks I wanted during the process. The process did not take long and I had my new case within a couple of weeks, which seemed quite quick for a custom request.

I've been using the case for over six months now and it has held up very well. There is some minor wear around the edges, which I would expect from regular use. Other than that, the case is in great shape and hardly looks different than when I first took it out of the box over half a year ago. The box it came in was adorable too. Chick-Lit has an eye for nice packaging too!

The case has three slots for cards and a small pocket for money, but it will not replace a wallet if you carry a lot of things. If you put more than around four cards in it, the magnetic clasp has difficulty staying closed. This is a very minor thing, but definitely something to consider if you are hoping to find a phone case that will also work as a wallet.

I've just noticed that Chick-Lit has a new Alice design in her shop now. If that one had been available when I was searching, I probably would not have gone for the custom design. I would love to have the new design too, but I probably don't need a second phone case and I don't think my current one will be wearing out anytime soon. If I do need a new case for whatever reason in the future though, I will not hesitate to purchase from Chick-Lit again.


If you want a cute bookish phone case and don't need it to be a replacement for a wallet, Chick-Lit gets a thumbs up from me.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Storytime: Library


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Dinosaur vs. The Library by Bob Shea
*The Not so Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora
*Lola at the Library  by Anna McQuinn
Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
Read It, Don’t Eat It! by Ian Shoenherr
The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

Books marked with * are the ones that I used for the storytime. I chose to use Lola at the Library because of my goal of using diverse books, but I think some of the other options on my list may have been more engaging for my group. In the future, I think I'd lean more towards Book! Book! Book! or Read It, Don't Eat It! for this storytime theme. Not So Quiet Library is a fun read with plenty of opportunities to make monster noises! The librarian in the book appears to be a woman of color as well, so that is a bonus!

Click read more to see the rest of my storytime song and rhyme ideas.

Storytime: Superheroes


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Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
Do Super Heroes Have Teddy Bears? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
*Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom  by John Rocco
Super Jumbo by Fred Koehler
*Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti*

Books marked with * are the ones I used in my storytime. Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom was recommended in a post on the Storytime Underground Facebook Page. Finding superhero themed books with diverse characters is difficult. The majority of them are about white boys. This one, however, is abut a diverse group of friends and is a really fun read! Highly recommended!

For more superhero ideas click read more!

Storytime: Snow


*The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Outside by Deirdre Gill
Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko
*Cleo in the Snow by Stella Blackstone
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin

I always select around six books for a storytime, but only end up using two or three. Books marked with * are the ones I ended up using for my storytime. Any theme I do will have a huge variety of potential books to fit it, so mine are only suggestions. I try to have as much diversity as possible in the characters in my book selection. It's important for kids to be exposed to people of all different races and ethnicities at an early age. For this selection both The Snowy Day and Snow feature people of color as the main characters.

For my song, rhyme, and craft ideas click read more.

Welcome to My Blog!

The world probably doesn't need another library and storytime blog. There are so many wonderful ones out there already. However, I have gotten so much help and inspiration from other blogs and groups that I wanted to be able to share my ideas and hopefully help other librarians and storytime providers too. 

In this blog I will outline my storytime plans for different themes; post funny anecdotes and stories from my work in the library; share pictures and reviews of fun library and book related decorations, clothing, and accessories; share book reviews for titles that I found particularly compelling; and post anything else related to my library work that I think might be of interest. 

I hope that in time my blog might become as great a resource for other librarians as some of the many blogs I've used in my planning. I look forward to sharing my ideas with the storytime community!