Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Okay, so first up we have:

Empty by Suzanne Weyn - To be released October 1st, 2010

It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I've read a couple of Suzanne's books and really liked them, so I'm excited about this one.

Freefall by Mindi Scott - To be released October 5th, 2010

How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around... or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving...

(Summary from goodreads.)

I absolutely love this cover and the summary sounds amazing, so I'm quite excited for this one, too.

Okay, so that's it for this Wednesday.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

(Yes, I'm aware today is Eclipse day. But I don't know if I'll be seeing it in theatre since the one we go to is only showing it 3 times and one of those was at midnight, as in 2 hours ago. So... I'm not acknowledging it so I can be in a nice little state of denial. So please don't torture me, kay?)

Friday, June 25, 2010

There are 300 of you guys.

And I'm incredibly grateful to all of you. It's taken me almost two years to get this many followers, but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

And in the last five minutes, it's become 301. I'm going to cry with happiness now. Like seriously, I'm a mushball.

Thank you guys. :)

Peace and slightly soggy and salty cookies,
Laina

(PS... I know I already did a music post, but this seems appropriate.



You guys rock!)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (36)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

Let's go a little retro today with a song from 2005. Something to Be by Rob Thomas from his first CD Something to Be.



I just ripped this CD to my computer the other day, but I've always loved this song, so here it is. :)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Storytime Spotlight (3)

Most of you probably know by now that I work at my library holding a weekly Storytime every Thursday, for around three year old kids to around five year old kids, with some closer to twos and some over fives. Shesten of I Heart Monster suggested that I share my lesson plans for the week. I rarely actually have a lesson plan, since most of my Storytimes follow pretty much the same general structure, but I figure I'll share with you guys what I'm reading and such each week.

The theme: Pigs. Pigs were actually the theme of the very first Storytime I ever did, but that wasn't one of my best weeks (I had no idea what I was doing) and it was almost a year ago, so I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to repeat a theme. Plus I had some really nice pig books on hand.

Books We Read:

Yours Truly, Lousia by Simon Puttock

Louisa the Pig takes it upon herself to write anonymous letters of complaint to Farmer Joe, urging him to clean up the farm at once. When he does not do so to her satisfaction, she leaves the farm in a huff and heads to the city, only to find it is even dirtier there!





If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff

The stars of this long-awaited companion to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Moose a Muffin are a bossy little pig and the young girl who valiantly tries to accommodate the pig's every whim. In keeping with the other beloved stories, chaos reigns as the pig's delightfully silly requests lead to page after page of fun.





Mechanimals by Chris Tougas

When pigs fly!

There once was a farmer who had lots of animals that got swept away by a tornado. The twister left behind a mountain of scrap metal and machine parts. And a very sad farmer. When a tornado leaves a farmer with a heap of scrap metal and no animals, his neighbors are sure it's all over for him. But the determined farmer refuses to admit defeat. His plans are big, and when his neighbors dismiss them with the words, When pigs fly, they grow bigger still. The farmer sets to work to turn that scrap metal into some rather surprising creatures.

(All summaries are from goodreads, click the titles to find out more information about the books.)

This was actually a couple of weeks ago, since I've been sucking at posting, so I don't remember too much about this one (and I think I hadn't slept...) so I'll just tell you about the books and what I remember of their reactions.

Yours Truly, Louisa was the longest of three books I had, so I read that one first. I did make sure that when we ran into the word "disgruntled" (it's used quite a bit in this book) to ask them if they knew what it meant and when they didn't, tell them what it meant. I really like this one. Simon Puttock has written a lot of children's books. I've actually used another of his, Goat and Donkey in the Great Outdoors, if you remember, and they always go over quite well. Plus his name makes the kids giggle.

One of the girls who comes every week actually owned a copy of If You Give a Pig a Pancake so she was really excited to hear that one. It was the second longest, so it was second. The kids loved it (of course) and I really like it too. It's fun sometimes to read a book like this that the kids know.

Mechanimals isn't strictly just about pigs but I was kind of scraping the barrel on pig books and it had a pig on the cover, so that's enough to work for a three or four year old. It was the shortest, but one of my favorites (beautiful pictures and a good message). Actually, it was pretty cool. When I was talking to the kids before we got started like I always do to kill a little bit of time and get them comfortable, one of the girls guessed that the books would have a tornado, and when we got to that part, she was so excited that she was right. It was really cute.

Like usual, we had some colouring pictures for craft and I handed out stickers while they were colouring from my treasure chest while they were colouring.

Tips: I always ask them to do the Storytime rules with me at the beginning of the reading. "Turn your listening ears up. Stay in your chair. Look with your eyes, not with your hands." I pretend to "turn up" my ears, tap my hands on the legs of my chair, and point at my eyes and then at them for the last one. They get to say them with me and act along, which I think helps them remember the rules.

Oh, here's a tip. If you have a kid who isn't as into the colouring, ask them to help you colour your picture (I always make an extra for me and bring an extra cup of crayons to the table, just in case... plus I get some colouring time in) and then talk to them about what you'll colour and what they'll colour. It can help make it a bit more interactive and one on one. The colouring time is also a good time to ask them what they liked about the books, that kind of stuff.

And a picture tip: Convert all pictures to jpg. You can do this by saving the picture to your computer, opening it in paint, and then saving it as a jpg. When you print the picture, you'll have more options and a better preview. (There are probably other ways to do this, but this works best for me.)

Other pig themed books:

Pigs by Robert Munsch
The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gillman
Farmer Ham by Alec Sillifant
Olivia by Ian Falconer and sequels/companion books (LOVE these so much)
There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems and sequels/companions (Also love love love these. They crack me up. I Will Surprise My Friend! is another favorite from the Elephant and Piggie series.)
Lots others. Pigs are a very popular subject in children's books.

Okay, so that's everything!
Peace and cookies
Laina

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (48)

So... I haven't posted enough lately. Or, um, really at all. But I have a good reason. I've been writing. A lot. Like almost 30 thousand words in less than 25 days. Which is an amazing amount for me. But it's kind of been taking up a ton of my time. Plus I keep leaving weekends... but this is my last Thursday working so I'll have more time, and I'm going to schedule a bunch of posts while I'm in the blogging mood, so we'll be good!

Okay, so, Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

No theme this week. At least not one I can figure out, though you guys seem to be good at
making up
interpretating themes where I don't necessarily see them. My first choice is:

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin - To be released September 7th, 2010

Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory's magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe, but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon she'll discover the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe's ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn't been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: 1. It's by Nancy Werlin and I've heard great things about her books. 2. Hot older brother. 3. FAERIES. 4. Do I really need another reason?

Next up:

It Started With a Dare by Lindsay Faith Rech - To be released September 13th, 2010

Self-proclaimed nobody CG Silverman sees her move to an upscale new school as her chance to be somebody different. Her devil-may-care attitude attracts the in-clique, and before CG realizes it, a routine game of truth or dare launches her to iconic status. While this rebel image helps secure CG’s newfound popularity, it also propels her through a maze of unprecedented chaos, with each new lie and every dare opening doors that, in most cases, were better off left shut. CG is on a collision course with disaster. Will she be able to keep up the fa├žade? Or will the whole world find out she’s a fraud?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want it: 1. I love the name CG, that's so cute. 2. I like devil-may-care. 3. The cover is really, really cute.

Okay, so that's it for me for this week! What are you guys waiting on?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (47)

Sorry for the lack of posts this last week! I was away all weekend and then I got distracted and totally forgot to post at all.

Anyways, Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Okay, so my picks this week are:

Love Drugged by James Klise - To be released September 1st, 2010

Fifteen-year old Jamie Bates has a fail-safe strategy for surviving high school: fit in. Keep a low profile. And, above all, protect his biggest secret—he’s gay. So when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie decides it’s time to change. After accepting flirtatious advances from Celia, the richest and most beautiful girl in school, Jamie steals an experimental new drug that’s supposed to “cure” his attraction to guys. At first, Jamie thinks he’s finally on track to living a “normal” life. But at what cost? As the drug’s side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he’s created—and hurt the people closest to him.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I Want It: 'Cause it sounds awesome, that's why.

Next up we have:

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian - To be released September 1st, 2010

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.
But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you want to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.
Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.
(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want it: Because it, too, sounds awesome.

Did I make a theme? I can't tell.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Test

Testing to see if I can post. You can ignore this if you so desire :)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Storytime Spotlight (2)

Most of you probably know that I work at my library holding a weekly Storytime every Thursday, for around three year old kids to around five year old kids, with some closer to twos and some over fives. Shesten of I Heart Monster suggested that I share my lesson plans for the week. I rarely actually have a lesson plan, since most of my Storytimes follow pretty much the same general structure, but I figure I'll share with you guys what I'm reading and such each week.

This is the Storytime that we did on May 13th, the week after my big garden themed week.

The theme: CAMPING!!!

Books we read:

Duck Tents by Lynne Berry

In a small backyard, by a squat stone fence, five little ducks pitch five duck tents.

The five little ducks are going camping! They can’t wait for a day of fun at the fishing hole. In the evening they sit around the campfire and toast marshmallows. But just as they’re about to snuggle up tight and drift off to sleep, they hear a scary noise. Whooo can it be?

Stella, Princess of The Sky by Marie-Louise Gay

In this sweetly humorous book, Stella and her brother, Sam, explore the wonders of the natural world. A vast luminous sky, the sun, the stars, and the rising moon form the backdrop for their nocturnal expedition. As they encounter raccoons, fireflies, tree frogs, and bats, Sam wonders if the moon can swim, if the sun wears pajamas, or if he can catch shooting stars with his butterfly net. Stella, as always, has an answer for every question. Marie-Louise Gay's whimsical prose and enchanting illustrations capture the joys of young children making their first discoveries of the world around them.

Goat and Donkey in The Great Outdoors by Simon Puttock

Goat wakes up one morning simply bursting to explore the Great Outdoors. He has his tent, his rucksack, his binoculars, and even his favourite teddy, but Goat just can't decide where to go. After some gentle advice from the ever-patient Donkey, Goat discovers that the best place for a holiday might not be very far away at all and he pitches his tent in the garden . . . which means that Donkey can come along, too. Perfect! A delightful duo - Goat and Donkey are ready to entertain children and parents everywhere.

(All summaries from goodreads. Click the titles to find out more about the books and the cover pictures to make them bigger.)

Once again, someone had moved my tables, but this week I got help from the librarian moving them back to where they belong, so it didn't take as long as if I'd been on my own.

Since I still didn't have any sticky tack, when the first couple of kids got there, I just pulled the easel behind us again and put it there. But first we had to draw a face on it, which took up a couple minutes, and after that, enough kids were there to get started.

I asked them what they wanted to read first, and they chose Duck Tents (although they thought it was about chickens which cracks me up). We really should have gone with Stella, Princess of the Stars first, though, and then Goat and Donkey in the Great Outdoors, and then Duck Tents, but I wasn't thinking.

Duck Tents was very much enjoyed by the kids (and me). It's nice and short, rhymes, and the illustrations are absolutely adorable. I highly recommend this one.

Stella, Princess of the Stars I should have first since it was the longest, but I think I hadn't slept and I wasn't thinking very well. But they still liked it, they were just getting a little restless. Stella and Sam books are pretty much always well-loved, in my experience.

During Goat and Donkey in the Great Outdoors one boy had a bit of a temper tantrum and had to be removed, so the other kids were understandably distracted, but I got them back into the book reasonably quickly and I think they quite enjoyed this one.

Our activity was just colouring pictures. I couldn't find any camping-themed pictures in the colouring book I use for most of our pictures, so I printed a few off from online.

Then of course I handed out stickers while they coloured. A lot of the tents were orange, which is great because the goat and donkey's tent was orange, and one of them coloured the boy blue.

Tips: Before we start reading, usually when we have early arrivals and it's just me and a couple kids, I get them to try to guess what the books are about. Guesses this week included chickens and cows. I always say "that's a really good guess" or something similiar to encourage them.

This is a good theme to ask them if they've ever gone camping. You can get some really good stories, and it helps fill the space while not everyone is there yet (I'm working on an activity for that, too).

Always, once we're ready to get started, I ask them if they remember the Storytime rules and have them say with me "Turn your listening ears up. Sit in your chair. Looks with your eyes, not with your hands." I pretend to "turn up" my ears, tap my hands on the legs of my chair, and last point at my eyes and then at them for the last one, and they're pretty good at doing it along with me.

Other camping themed books:

Oh, Yeah! by Tom Birdseye
Otis and Rae and The Grumbling Splunk
Good Night, Animals by Leno Arro

Sorry about not having this up last week. I just forgot to post it!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (46)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I chose two books that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. So let's go!

First up is:

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel - To be released August 3rd, 2010

Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Doesn't this sound awesome!?!? You all know about my thing for vampires, but this one sounds pretty darned original.

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford - To be released September 1st, 2010

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.

And so the confessions begin....

(Summary from goodreads.)

This isn't my usual type of thing, but it sounds good, so... we just might have to try it, right? Never judge a book by its cover and all that.

Okay, so that's everything for this Wednesday.

Peace and cookies,
Laina