Storytime Picks from Monday, July 16

After a quiet storytime last week, we had a wonderfully scattered program today, mostly due to one avid reader who could not wait for her story. So we did a warm up story (the greatDinosaur Roar!) before starting on our stretches. Then the group enjoyed a short, but fun rendition of a classic folk tale.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears
by James Marshall

Marshall’s vivid style and signature humor enliven this classic tale about a mischievous little girl running afoul of three bears. When Goldilocks ignores her mother’s advice and takes a shortcut in the forest, she comes across the home of three bears. Being curious and a little naughty, she helps herself to some porridge, breaks a chair, and falls asleep in one of the beds. But what will become of Goldilocks when the bears come home? While some “Goldilocks” stories contain endings that may frighten very young children, Marshall caps off his rendition in a style that is, as the narrator might put it, just right.

One of the best aspects of reading folk and fairy tales to your children is the variety of tellings waiting to be explored. Try versions with contrasting artwork, contradicting plots and endings, and different languages. Most library children’s sections have a separate shelf for folk and fairy tales, so finding a new variation of a beloved story is quick and easy.

If your kids loved Marshall’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears, experiment with other versions of the story:


Storytime is every Monday @ 10 am and is intended for all ages.


Storytime Picks from Monday, July 2

Happy July! It was a hot week and it’s shaping up to be a hot week, but the inside of the Toy Lending Library is always cool, cool, cool. Perhaps the heat explains the extra large crowd of children in the library this morning, many of whom sat down for a quick, funny story and a quick, fun craft to go along with it:

by Oliver Jeffers

Floyd has a problem. His kite is stuck in a tree. To get it out, he throws his favorite shoe, but then IT gets stuck in the tree. So, of course, he throws his other shoe to knock out his favorite one, but then BOTH SHOES are stuck in the tree. Your kids will love the funny, quirky ways in which Floyd attempts to get his stuff (and everything else he throws up in there) out of the tree.  Jeffers is an expert storyteller – his stories are humorous, well-paced, and perfect for call-and-response between reader and audience – and his simple, scrawly style is a perfect visual match for the tone.

After we finished the story, we decided to get a few things stuck in some trees of our own. You can do this at home for an easy post-storytime craft. Simply print out the following picture (or any coloring page of a tree):

First, let your kids color the trees with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. Then, using stickers of various shapes, colors, and sizes, have them place stickers all around the tree, noting when a particular sticker is similar to an object from the book. If you don’t have stickers, you can use cut out objects from magazines and newspapers to build a collage. Have your kids look through magazines with you and find objects similar to the ones Floyd throws into the tree. Cut them out, get a glue stick, and let them start sticking.

Want to try another Oliver Jeffers book with your kids? Check out these additional titles from the author:



Want even more Stuck? Check out this great video of Oliver Jeffers reading his book:

Storytime is every Monday @ 10 am and is intended for all-ages.

Art Group – Wednesday, June 27

Just in case you were wondering, that is not a plate of salad, but rather the starting elements of our Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group natural collages.  Before time for art group, we harvested what natural items we could from the topiary around the Toy Lending Library, including leaves, flowers, mulch, acorn tops, and woody weeds. Once everything was laid out, it was time to get gluing and sticking items to our recycled paper pages.

We watered down our glue to make it easier to spread on the page, then the kids had at it. It can take a little extra glue to make some of the larger pieces stick and many of the items need to fully dry before they are stabilized on the paper, but the visual and textural results are worth the patience.

Some of our advanced artists decided that the collages needed a bit more color, so we added some of the feathers from the art area to provide a little extra pizzazz. The feathers – even in unnatural colors – were a nice visual and textural complement to the natural collage elements.

The addition of unnatural elements can even be instructional. After the collages are finished, have your kids point out the items on the page that can be found in nature and those that are strictly art supplies. Differentiating between something natural and something manufactured is a great step in building their appreciation for the environment.

Half the fun of creating natural collages at home is the opportunity to collect items from outside and incorporate them into art time. When your kids are playing outside, have them pick items they might like to use. They can build artwork based off the grass and flowers in their yard, the leaves and bark on close-by trees, and anything else within proximity to the house.

If you and your family take a lot of nature walks, bring a plastic bag to collect items of interest from the ground. (When collecting in a public park or nature reserve, teach your kids to be considerate of the natural world and to only pick things up from the ground.)

As your children make the natural collages, ask them where each item might have come from. Did this big, dark green leaf come from the tree in the front yard? Did that flower come from the park down the street? Associate them not just with the texture, colors, and shapes of the items they use, but their origins as well. Their memories and sense of placement for the items they use will increase exponentially as they routinely create natural collages.

Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elisabeth Moyer, with assistance by Emily Fear.