Thanks to Amanda from the Springfield-Greene County Library system for sharing a terrific new picture book, The Starkeeper by Faith Pray, that ties in perfectly to a streamer rhyme we created here at Storytime Stuff!
Here’s the publisher’s description of the book:
When a girl finds a fallen star, she decides to keep it hidden. But this star encourages kindness and needs to shine, so it comes out from the shadows. At first the glow from the star starts to fade, and the girl worries–maybe she’s not a very good starkeeper. Then a chance gesture of kindness seems to brighten the star, and soon this kindness leads to a chain of good works that light up the once-dreary town.
The art of the book follows the star’s journey and lights up more and more with each act of kindness.
After the year that was 2020, we can all use a little more kindness and more shining stars! Follow the story with our streamer rhyme below:
There once was a star who lived up in the sky (wave streamer above head)
He twinkled and twinkled at all who came by (move streamer in small movements to represent twinkling)
He twinkled left and he twinkled right (move streamer left, then right)
He twinkled through the day and he twinkled through the night (continue twinkling)
He twinkled down at the earth and he twinkled at me (point streamer down and keep twinkling)
Until he decided Earth was where he wanted to be.
So one day he twinkled as brightly as could be (move streamer in large back and forth movements)
And became a shooting star who came down…to…me! (slowly make streamer descend to the ground)
For more fun:
Teach the sign STAR in American Sign Language (click here for a video demo) and sign it as you sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”!
ALA Editions has lots of great storytime resources on sale at 50% off, including 2 of our titles:
Weave diversity into any and every storytime, no matter what the topic! Arranged thematically around dozens of popular storytime themes, this resource book presents original and traditional resources from all over the world that will enrich storytimes for ages 2 through 5. Includes download links for flannelboard and stick puppet patterns and illustrations of American Sign Language signs. Buy now.
A Box Full of Tales by Kathy MacMillan (ALA Editions)
Children’s programming made easy. Really easy. What librarian doesn’t dream of offering more and better children’s programs with less effort? Story boxes offer a simple method for capturing ideas, talent, creativity, and resources available in your library. This handy resources also includes detailed plans for fifty great story boxes including suggested books, fingerplays, songs, props, crafts, and sign language activities. Buy now.
Another sneak peek from our newest book, More Storytime Magic (ALA Editions, January 2016):
Night Owl Flannelboard and Sound Story
Night Owl listens to the sounds of the night, waiting for his very favorite one: his mother returning home! As you tell the story, play clips of the sounds that Night Owl hears and ask the children to identify them.
Click on the links below for sounds:
Over at StoriesByHand.com, Kathy’s sharing a wonderful article by early childhood educator Louise Rollins of Maryland/DC Hands & Voices. Though the article specifically addresses techniques for using wordless picture books with deaf and hard of hearing children, these ideas will benefit hearing children as well. here’s a snippet:
Wordless picture books are excellent for helping your child understand the sequence of events in the story. During book sharing with a traditional book, a child sees part of the story in the picture and perhaps understands part of the story through the text that is read to her, then has to piece together a narrative from those two fractured elements, filling in the blanks on her own as she is able. Using a wordless picture book, your child can understand the events through the picture first, then learn from you the language that describes what she sees. This process helps develop your child’s story comprehension and build her vocabulary.
Because the pictures may be open to some interpretation, wordless picture books create an interactive reading experience where you and your child can discuss what you think is happening in the story. You can encourage your child to take on the role of narrator; even if your child cannot read print yet he can “read” these books independently or to you. Storytelling opportunities help your child practice organizing his thoughts, including sufficient information for his audience, and selecting relevant details. In other words, while practicing reading, your child is also practicing important writing skills, without even picking up a pencil.
When you read wordless picture books, you can modify your storytelling to use single words or shorter phrases. You might want to do this if your child does not yet understand longer strings of connected language, or is still developing his attention span. If you are learning to sign, you do not have to feel bound by the print and feel pressure if you don’t know every sign in the text. If you are learning to cue, you do not have to worry about cueing long passages at one time. Instead, you can focus on telling the story and enjoying book sharing with your child.
More Wordless Picture Book Resources:
Louise Rollins’ Recommended Picture Books: Look for “wordless” in the book descriptions to narrow down your search.
Early Literacy Storytime: Wordless Books at Mel’s Desk
Sharing Wordless Picture Books from Reading Rockets (printable handout for parents)
Top 10 Wordless Picture Books from Children’s Books Guide
Why Wordless Books?: Article about sharing wordless books in the classroom by Leslie Ross-Degnan , M.Ed., and Christina Silvi, M.A at Earlychildhood News
Wonderful Wordless Picture Books at Storytime Standouts
December 3-10 is Clerc-Gallaudet Week, honoring the birthdays of two visionary leaders in the field of American Deaf Education who were born in December: Laurent Clerc on December 26, 1785 and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on December 10, 1787. Check out this previous post for more information about Clerc and Gallaudet, including program and lesson ideas.
Today we are honoring Clerc-Gallaudet week by sharing our 10 favorite picture books/series about American Sign Language and Deaf Culture:
“It’s not easy to create an inclusive book collection. Whether you’re a librarian creating a collection for an entire community, a teacher creating a collection for your classroom, or a parent creating a collection for your children, choosing books that reflect the diversity of human experience can be a challenging job.
That’s because creating a diverse book collection is about more than just making sure X, Y, and Z are represented. It’s not a matter of ticking off check boxes or making sure quotas are filled. For those committed to doing it right, building a diverse book collection requires contemplation, research, and awareness. But the rewards are great: a truly diverse collection of books can turn children into lifelong readers and promote empathy, understanding, and self-confidence.”
Check out the rest of this great post for actionable steps to creating real diversity in your collection: Checklist: 8 Steps to Creating a Diverse Book Collection.
November is Picture Book Month! This international literacy initiative, founded by author and storyteller Dianne de Las Casas, celebrates the print picture book during the month of November. Check out the Picture Book Month website, which features daily posts from “picture book champions” and has lots of great classroom and storytime resources!
Last week, Kathy’s “Stories By Hand” blog featured an interview with Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs and Rhymes” series. Click here for the interview.
We were so excited to learn that Dawn has a great series of “Start to Finish Story Time” posts on her blog. Each of these lesson plans centers around one of her books, and includes suggested songs, rhymes, signing games, and reading activities to use with kids, all in a modular format that allows educators and librarians to select the materials that work best for their groups.
As Dawn says, “Each lesson plan incorporates ideas that are suitable for infant/toddler, preschool and/or school age audiences, and each program incorporates activities that promote literacy/early literacy and one or more of the six keys skills recommended by the National Research Council for preparing children to become readers when they enter school. Programs can last from 20 – 45 minutes, depending on what you include and who your audience is.”
There are 4 available so far, with the promise of more to come:
A to Z, Sign with Me
You may also want to bookmark this Summary Post, where Dawn will link to future installments.
by J. Patrick Lewis; illustrated by Anna Raff (Candlewick, 2013)
Ever heard of “Dragon Appreciation Day” (January 16)? How about “International Cephalopod Awareness Day” ( October 8)? Or our personal favorite, “Chocolate-Covered Anything Day” (December 16)? Well, J. Patrick Lewis and Anna Raff have, and they’ve assembled a funny, surprising collection of poems and illustrations that pay tribute to lesser-known celebrations. From advice from a worm in “What the Worm Knows” (for Worm Day on March 15) to the susurrating, lyrical word-pictures of “Bats” (for Bat Appreciation Day on April 17), these poems introduce a variety of poetic forms along with the silly holidays they celebrate. These kid-friendly poems beg for classroom and programming extensions with stories, songs, and crafts, and this book would be a terrific holiday or end-of-year gift for the teacher on your list.
After a long winter, a boy and his dog decide to do something about the brown that is all around, they plant a garden! Simple text and illustrations tell this delightful story of a boy waiting for spring to arrive. The boy looks all around at the brown, plants seeds, worries about his seeds, wishes for rain, and waits. As time goes by, the illustrations show that the weather is warming, the brown is changing, until one day it’s spring!
After the winter we’ve had, we can all sympathize with the boy’s watchful waiting!