Monday, April 24, 2017

Art in Action: Henri Matisse

Before I started working in libraries, my background was in art and art education. I've been wanting to start a monthly art program here at the library for a while, and finally got to run my first one. I was looking for a catchy title and eventually decided to call it Art in Action! I hope the title helps emphasize the hands-on approach to learning art. Each month we will read about a different artist and then explore their style while creating our own works of art. The program is geared towards elementary and middle school students, so an older age range than would come to a typical storytime. I'm continually searching for programming that will be engaging for older kids as well.

For the first program, I wanted to do something fairly simple as far as what supplies we would need and something that could be adapted for a wide range of ages since I didn't know how many people to expect or what age group would come to the program. I chose to look at Matisse and focus on his later paper collage work. Older children could cut complex shapes, but young children could still participate by tearing paper if they weren't comfortable with scissors.


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*Mr. Matisse and His Cutouts by Annemarie van Haeringen
*Matisse’s Garden by Samantha Friedman
Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter
A Bird or Two by Bijon Le Tord
Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors by Keesia Johnson
The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan

Books with a * are ones I read or used the most for the program, though I had all the books out and available for people to browse through for inspiration.

I was really pleased with the number of picture books available about Matisse. He made for a great first subject for my program! The first three books on this list focus exclusively on Matisse’s cut paper works, which were the works I wanted to focus on for this program. I especially like Matisse’s Garden because it has large foldout pages that show images of Matisse’s actual art and the illustrations are also cut paper, which was very inspiring for making our own collage art. A Bird or Two and Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors provide nice basic overviews of Matisse’s life and The Iridescence of Birds focuses on Matisse’s childhood and how his mother helped influence and inspire his creativity.

Click read more for my art project ideas and sample images.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flannelboard: Bunnies

If I come up with more rhymes and songs to go with this set, the post will be updated to reflect that. If you have ideas for other ways to use the set, please share!


I wanted a relatively simple flannelboard for this week because I didn't have a ton of time to make it. Thankfully, these bunnies were pretty simple overall! I used this for my bunny storytime. You will also see soon that I made some additions to the set to make use of it for another storytime too. I'm sure there are many additional songs and rhymes about bunnies that these little guys might be good for so I think I'll make good use of them in the future!

Songs, Rhymes, Games, and Fingerplays

“Five Little Rabbits”

Five little rabbits sitting by the door.
One hopped away, and then there were four.

Four little rabbits under a tree.
One hopped away, and then there were three.

Three little rabbits drinking morning dew.
One hopped away, and then there were two.

Two little rabbits resting in the sun.
One hopped away, and then there was one.

One little rabbit isn’t any fun.
He hopped away to find the others,
and then there were none.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Storytime Write-up Coming Soon!

I'm a little behind on getting all my storytime write-ups done because I've been super busy both at work and at home lately. I need to take pictures of my flannel for the bunny storytime still and post about my super fun magic themed storytime that I did last week. I did a lot of work for the magic storytime that I really want to share with everyone, so hopefully I can get that up within the next couple days. AS it gets closer to Summer and there are more programs I'm running at the library for Summer Reading, my posts my become less frequent, but I'll try to get them up as often as possible!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Storytime: Bunnies


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Hop by Jorey Hurley
*The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits  by Douglas Florian
~*Everbunny Dance! by Ellie Sandall
~Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
~What Does Bunny See? by Linda Sue Park
Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro

Books marked with ~ were used for my toddler storytime, books marked with * were used for my all ages storytime. At my library though, there's very little different between the two storytimes as far as the ages that show up. They might as well both be all ages! Everbunny Dance! is one of my new favorite storytime reads. It's fantastic if you have a high energy crowd. There are not only lots of prompts to dance, sing, clap, and move around but also to be quiet and still. This is one that I'll probably buy for my storytime collection so I always have it on hand. Bunny's Book Club is really too long for my storytime group, it might work better for an older group during an outreach storytime, but it was too cute for me to not to include on my list of bunny books. The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits is a great book with rhyming text. The rhymes are always across two facing pages and there isn't a real plot, just a list of things bunnies like to do, which makes it very easy to skip pages if your group is squirmy and you want to make things go a little faster, like I did today. There are so many great bunny books available, which makes it a super fun theme for storytimes!

For extension activities, click read more.