Easter Egg Hunt for Special Needs Families at Station Park 04-14

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What a great event to be a part of!

Here’s a link to their website: www.utaheasytolove.org

On Saturday, April 19, 2014 I was part of the Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt held at Farmington Station by the Easy to Love group.

Easter Egg hunts can be stressful for kids but this Easter Egg hunt held last Saturday morning brought the fun and joy to all involved. The sun shone down on the many happy faces as they gathered things to fill their baskets, had their face painted, waited to have a special balloon sculpture made just for them and listen to stories. It was Easy to Love being a part of this inspiring event.

I gathered Rabbit stories from around the world to share with the families who opened their ears and gathered in the magic of storytelling. I told of Scardey Rabbit who thought the earth was caving in. It’s another version of a Chicken Little story. Scaredy Rabbit gathers a bunch of jungle animals to run with him or they will all get sucked in to the caving earth. Lion figures everything out.

Rabbit can also be very brave and clever. I told an East India story of rabbit tricking the big fierce tiger. It’s fun to see the smaller creature use his wits to overcome a large, mean foe.

Author, Janet Stevens retold a folktale called, “Tops and Bottoms” and created a darling picture book. I used her version of this Native American tale of Rabbit tricking Bear. This book also teaches how plants grow which is fun to learn about in the spring when all the new plants are coming up. Rabbit and his family plants vegetables in Bear’s field and tells Bear they can split the harvest right down the middle. Bear gets to choose whether he wants tops or bottoms. He chooses tops and Rabbit and his family plants carrots and other root vegetables. You can can imagine the problems this would present.

There are many “Why” stories out there to explain how things in nature have occurred. Such as why leopard has spots, or how giraffe got his long neck, or why rabbit has a short tail. When animals were first on the earth Rabbit had a very long, smooth, silky, divine, exquisite tail. Rabbit loved her tail and told all the other animals about how beautiful her tail was. Use of the saying, “clever as a fox,” would be very apprapo after hearing this tale. A vain rabbit and a smart fox makes for a great story.

I also told some of my other favorites, “The Wide Mouth Frog,” and “Ka’ulu the Strong.”

It was a privilege to be part of this event.

Assembly at McMillan Elementary – Feb 2014

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Monday morning I was up bright and early and heading to Murray, UT to be a guest storyteller at McMillan Elementary. Driving through the rain I organized my thoughts, stories, did some face and speech warm ups and was ready to go. I was amazed as the kids came into the gym class by class with very little talking. They were so well behaved and when they were asked to show their school spirit and and call out “Mighty Knights,” they did so with gusto! Mrs. Sanford the principal graciously introduced me I was off…

I told the Irish folktale of “One Wish” and then we traveled in our imagination to Hawaii as they listened to “Ka’ulu the Strong.” Sandra Malbon, another one of Utah’s wonderful storytellers, will be doing a storytelling residency at this school.

Farmington Storytelling Festival January 2013

January 19, 2013 was the 9th annual Farmington Storytelling Festival. The people in the area came in from the cold to warm themselves with some great stories. The festival was held in the wonderful Farmington Community Center with the help of Farmington City youth council. It was so fun to be there. In the morning they had different themed rooms for families to choose from. There was School Stories, Princess stories, stories about Bugs and the Potpourri room. I got to be in the Potpourri room with Sharon Rogers. Sharon and I are standing by each other in the picture. She is in red. I brought a treasure chest box which held objects that represented different stories. I let a child pick an object and then I would tell a story that went along with the chosen object. Sharon moved to Utah about a year ago from Tennessee and we all loved the stories she told with her southern accent. During lunch time Claudene Gordon and I worked together on some partici-plays. We invited kids and grownups to come up and help put on a story play right then and there. We all had fun doing these and parents were busy taking pictures while their kids were on stage. There was an ending concert and all who attended had a great time. In the picture is Tamra Pratt, Julie, myself, Sharon Rogers, Rachel Hedman, Gary Hansen, Karl Behling, Rene

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Egg Story Time at the Library April 2014

As a children’s librarian I get to do story time each week. How I love sharing books with the children, sometimes dressing up, and singing silly songs. It is so much fun! I’m going to be adding posts of the storytimes I do. I work with two other brilliant librarians and sometimes they plan they storytimes. We switch off weeks. I’ll keep you posted of which ones I plan. Doing storytime at the library is my favorite part of my job.

Here’s the books I used for the Egg Story time:

“Mamma Hen’s Big Day”

Finding just the right spot to lay an egg can sometimes be a challenge.

“It’s Quacking Time”

This book has lots of “quacking” in it and all the kids got to quack along. You can never quack too much in one story, I always say. There was plenty of quacking for all.

“The Cow that Laid an Egg”

This book is hillarious!

“The Odd Egg”

I love the surprise ending of this book.

“Tillie Lays an Egg”

This is a bit of a hunt and find book where kids get to find the egg that Tillie laid on each page.

We sang the song, “Five Little Ducks Went out to Play.”

Here’s a link to the words. www.storytimesongs.com/Lyrics/fivelittleducks.html

We had some egg shakers made out of colored plastic Easter egss filled with rice that we danced with. We danced to the music of “The Chicken Dance, ” of course.

The children each received a coloring page of an Easter Basket with eggs in it to color at the library or take home.

There are really a lot of fun Egg books out there. It was a fun twist to an Easter Story time.

Hopefully next time I blog about a storytime I’ll be able to add some pictures. Everything is more interesting with pictures.

Story Time Author Day, starring Mem Fox

It was author day at the library and we read books by the Australian author, Mem Fox. She was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England and returned to Australia in 1970 where she lived with her husband and daughter. She is known for her bright red hair.

First, I asked the kids what an author is. “Someone that writes a book.” We say this a few times and then I introduced our author. I have the children clap their hands on their lap while we say Mem Fox over and over, starting out soft and then getting louder and louder.

Some of her books are of animals you would see in Australia.

The first book we read was “Koala Lou.”

We did a Koala poem and I had five koalas on sticks for five kids to hold. I would have the kids repeat each phrase after me. We did the poem twice.

Five Little Koala in a eucalyptus tree
The first one said, “Hey, look at me!”
The second one said, “I’ve a big, black nose.”
The third one said, “Holding on with hands and toes.”
The fourth one said, “Australia is my home.”
The fifth one said, “I will never roam.”
Five little koalas in a eucalyptus tree
climbing and playing and happy to be free!

The next book was “The Magic Hat.”

In the story the magic hat flew onto different people and when it landed on their heads they turned into different animals. After we read the story I had a wizard hat that could be placed on the head of a child and they could pretend they were an animal. The rest of us would guess what animal they were pretending to be.

It’s fun to be crazy and this book does that…“A Particular Cow.”

This is a CRAZY cow story that gets into all kinds of “particular” situations.

I put on a’ children’s music CD that had the song, “Boom, Boom, Ain’t it Great to be Crazy” which can be found on several CD’s and we did crazy dancing and sang the song. It was crazy fun.

I love the book “Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge” that we did next.

This is a sweet story about a boy who helps an old woman remember. He brings her objects that helps bring memories back for her. After the story I had the objects he brought to her in a basket to see if the kids could remember what memory went with what object. (Objects: sea shell, winner’s medal, football, marionette puppet, and egg)

The last book was “Boo to a Goose.”

This is a quick read and it’s fun to have the kids say, “BOO” with you as it is repeated throughout the book.

Mem Fox has many other fun books. I love learning about the authors and their writing journey. Even though I share a small bit of info about an author with the kids, I learn a whole lot more.

Okay, so I’ve done another blog post without pictures

Murray City Storytelling Festival – March 2013 – 1st Ever

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Thanks to Murray City Arts and the help of Holly Robison for orchestrating storytelling festivals in most of the elementary schools in Murray. The top storyteller of each school got to tell at the Murray City Storytelling Festival on March 23, 2013. The ending festival was held at the Murray Heritage Senior Center. Along with the kids, regional tellers and seniors also told.

In the month of February I teamed up with Carol Esterreicher to do a Storytelling Festival at Longview Elementary in Murray, Utah. We did two storytelling assemblies to get the kids excited about storytelling. Then we came back to do coaching with the kids who wanted to be storytellers. Carol got to work with the 2nd and 3rd graders and I worked with the 4th through 6th grade. The kids got to choose a story and then begin to practice, practice, practice. Carol and I coached the kids on storytelling tips such as learning to do gestures that go with the story, speaking clearly, having a strong beginning and ending, giving the characters life. The kids stayed after school and were so excited to become storytellers. I could see such growth in several of the kids who were so scared to do their story in front of others and then feeling so accomplished after they did.

The kids got to tell their stories in different classrooms and then at a final festival where the top winner was chosen to tell at the Murray Festival. It was so great to hear the stories evolve and the kids overcome fear and do the best they could.

Carol was amazing to work with and kept us organized. She figured out schedules and was always there early. It was a positive experience and I was thrilled to part of it.

 

Eric Kimmel, Author Story Time at the Library

Eric Kimmel has been a storyteller for more than thirty years. He grew up in a neighborhood in New York City, where he had neighbors from all over the world. On one street, you could hear languages from five countries being spoken. His grandmother came from Russia and spoke five languages herself—she would tell him many stories from her homeland. Eric Kimmel always loved reading—he especially loved Dr. Seuss and fairy tales, and read his copy of the Grimm Brother Fairy Tales until it fell apart. He was a teacher for many years and told his stories at schools, parks and libraries until he was able to start writing stories full time. He books are mostly about traditional stories from all over the world. He has written over 100 books.

Here’s what we did for story time:

“I Took My Frog to the Library”

This is an original story based in the United States

Activity: Ask the kids what animal they would take to the library and talk about those animals might do. A dog might chew book”s, a monkey climb on the shelves, etc.

“Greatest of All”

This is a story of mice in Japan. I used pictures we had on hand to tell this story but flannel board This is an easy story to learn to tell.

“Little Red Hot”

A cowboy version of Little Red Riding Hood.

Activity: Have the kids gallop around and comeback and pretend to eat a piece of pepper pie. After everyone pretend to drink some cool water to cool their mouths down. Be sure to add sound effects when you do this with the kids.

“Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock”

An African folktale, I used stuffed animals and puppets to tell this story. I also brought in a moss covered rock that I made. I just took a good sized rock and covered it with moss I bought at my local craft store.

“Easy Work”

A European folktale about a husband thinking his wife’s work was much easier. I love the message of this book.

Activity: Have the kids act out different work that they did in the book. Churn butter, milk the cow, chop wood, rock the baby, wash and hang the clothes.

“Little Britches and the Rattlers”

This is a retelling of Little Black Sambo, western style. It makes you wonder if snakes could really do this.

Most story times will not have time for all of these books, they are just some of my favorites of Eric Kimmel so my list went a little long. Have fun choosing your favorites.

Halloween!

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Halloween always brings out the witch in me. I’ve told Halloween stories in schools, libraries, Rec Centers, city events, Red Butte Gardens and special Halloween shows. It’s one of my favorite seasons and I love pulling out some of my Halloween characters and bringing them back to life each year like Goblin and Hildegaard. The picture above is from a visit to a first grade class. At the end I told them I needed to leave to go work on a new potion and they seemed to believe I was a real witch. At another elementary school I did a new story about Mortimer the Mouse. It was a handkerchief story and I made a mouse that could run up my arm with the handkerchief as I told the story. I had everyone helping me call “Mortimer” as I told the story.