Beaches and Oceans Take Two

Summers over, school has started back up for most the country (can I get a collective HUZZAH! from all the parents out there?); which means that for my library, storytime is once more in swing.

This year, seems like the library system is all about ‘Market Penetration’… (stop snickering… I hear you over there. Mind outa the gutter….) Which essentially means that we are attempting to get at least one active library user in every household. And guess what that means?

Yup….OUTREACH!

So every Monday we now do a storytime at the Mall. Sadly, it hasn’t been getting a lot – note any – participation. Granted, our regular storytimes don’t always have a lot of participation either; so I’m not sure if this new program simply hasn’t garnered any interest, or if folks just don’t know its there, despite our advertising.

In any case, the Storytime at the Mall will more or less be the same material we used at the Preschool Storytime the week before. At the moment, what few parents I have run across while there yesterday, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think they realize we’re from the library. Pretty certain they thought I was an author selling my books or something.

They gave me the same ‘oh shit, I made eye contact’ look I know I get whenever I accidentally look at one of the vendors at a mall that pushes the samples on people.

I immediately came back to the library and made some signs proclaiming that the PUBLIC Library was presenting Storytime at the Mall and it was FREE. I also made a big bright orange sign that sasys “Storytime In Progress, Please have a seat”. I’m hoping it clears up some of the confusion and maybe will catch interest.

Certainly can’t hurt.

It’s been a long and stressful last few months; so it’s kind of nice to get back to something I enjoy doing.

I decided to do Beaches/Oceans again do to the fact that we had quite a few new really cute Beach and Ocean themed books that had just come in. Also…. I really could go for a nice beach vacation; so hey, lets pretend! LOL.

The first book I read was Beachy and Me by Bob Staake:

Which was a colorful, cute, rhyming book about a lonely girl who befriends a whale.

The second book was Barnacle is BORED, by Jonathan Fenske:

Which depicts a barnacle (obviously), who is essentially complaining about how dull his life is.  He starts comparing his life to the cute, colorful polka-dot fish that he sees and imagines all the fun things this fish must be able to do…all the way up until said fish gets eaten. Suddenly Barnacle isn’t so bored anymore.

The parents actually seemed to get a kick out of this more than the kids. I know, a little morbid. However, the very last page of the book shows the same little colorful polka-dot fish safe and sound in the eel’s belly stating how bored IT now is…… which yea, gets a cackle out of the adults.

After that we play a number/color recognition game I called ‘Feed the Shark’.  I crafted a shark head out of cardboard, complete with sharp teeth and google eyes that’s very reminiscent of a JAWS movie cover.

Most of the kids LOVED it. Though I did have one who refused to get near it, kept trying to throw the fish into it’s mouth. We kept trying to explain to her that Bruce was a NICE shark and wouldn’t bite her….. but she just wasn’t going for it.

I made some basic fish that I printed out on colored paper and then added numbers too. I used only 1-10 this time, but it has the potential to be used for the whole alphabet as well.

The last book I read was If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T!, by Elise Parsley:

This was just a goofy book on why exactly bring a piano to the beach was a bad idea. It was seriously cute and the kids- who were all smart enough to know immediately that taking a piano to the beach is just silly – were wincing and wide eyed at all the things that happened to this poor piano. It was a great book to engage the kids and get some participation.

After that we had our craft; Water-Resistant Clownfish. I had the kids put on the google eyes (with glue dots on the back to make stickers) on first, then we used white crayons to draw designs on the fish cutouts (on cardstock), after that we used watercolors to paint.

The kids didn’t understand why we used white crayons at first; but once they applied the paint and saw their designs ‘magically’ appear, they thought that was pretty cool.

We had quite a few very colorful clownfish swimming around the library after storytime.

I also had a cart of both fiction and nonfiction books about beaches and oceans available for the kids to look through and check out.

I used the same set up, minus the books to check out, for the Storytime at the Mall program.

On a completely unrelated note… well, not quite unrelated, but unrelated to Storytime…. Welcome the newest addition to our household.

This is Kip. A 2 month old kitten my supervisor found under a truck near the library. It was a group effort to catch the sweet little fuzzball and get him cleaned up and taken to the vet. But once everything was said and done; my husband and I decided to take him home. Our new house has been empty without a kitty-cat.

I haven’t decided what I’m doing for Storytime next week. I’ve found some cute, kinda silly new books that I like, so I might just do something along the lines of a “Silly Storytime’ again. “Goofy Storytime’ maybe? Hmmmmmm……

Well, until next time. Ciao!

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Filed under book review, Storytime

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