Category Archives: Early Literacy

Matchmaker Tales and Strategies: Ways to Engage Children

Many children are often introduced to books from a very early age. As children grow older, develop other interests and academic demands increase, their time or desire for reading diminishes. The links below are suggested resources for readers advisory.

Wandoo Reader: ​Wandoo Reader 2016 is more than just an easy-to-implement and use summer and year-round reading program management tool, it increases participation and engagement with a game-like experience.

Beanstack: Beanstack is a specialized service for libraries and their patrons that offers personalized book recommendations and specific tools for learning.

BiblionasiumBiblioNasium is a free, protected social network for children ages 6-13 designed to engage, encourage and excite young people about reading.

These two articles we discussed at the meeting:


Ready to Read at New York Libraries

The New York State Library is proud to announce the finalization of the logo for Ready to Read at New York Libraries. You are encouraged to use this on any materials or hand-outs relating to this initiative and/or to early literacy.

Ready to Read

Here is a color version of the logo. Other versions can be found on the Ready to Read at New York Libraries’ website, which you can access here

Online Arts and Crafts for Youth Librarians Workshop

Back in October, we youth librarians received an invitation to an online workshop: Art and Crafts for Youth Librarians Workshop.  It was promoted as follows:

Are you the one responsible for creating arts and crafts programs? Do you need new creative art project ideas for your Summer Reading Program or other events?  Tired of the same ole, same ole.  This is your opportunity to develop a portfolio of ideas that you can use with your Preschool through Teen visitors.  This 4 week online workshop is taught by an art instructor who has first hand experience developing library art programs.  Interact with other Youth Librarians and a University art instructor and author. The online class is open 24/7.  Access the online workshop at your convenience.

I was looking for projects to do with our preschool storytime (ages 4 and 5) and our Intermediate School Book Clubs (grades 3-5)  I was looking for projects that had actually been tried with children and in the best case scenario had a book paired with them. (And when I saw the gorgeous lifesize cat made out of paper that was with the invitation I wanted in!)

This class was a disappointment to me.  I found the site hard to navigate because the terminology was unfamiliar and inconsistent . The classes had clearly been originally designed for art teachers and then without much thought, altered to attract librarians. I mean what library has a kiln?

Most of the class assignments were to explore lists of recommended websites.  I was introduced to some sites that I think will be very useful: a website for teachers that includes lots of picture books (and up with grade level indicators) with related activities and ideas See his Drawing activities tab for lots of ideas that I especially think boys would like. has a felt pillow idea and looked like lots of other good ideas

The class didn’t include my favorite, Kathy Barbro’s site www.artprojectsforkids.  She’s actually done these projects with kids and they are sorted by grade level.

The class was a good exercise in making me think and plan projects and it convinced me that one aspect of visual literacy is talking about and writing about works of art.  Also, the instructor was very responsive.  But if you’re looking for a quick successful project for your next storytime or bookclub this class is not it.

Oh, the lifesize cat is at  Canon Creative Park along with a wealth of materials for things to do with paper – but this project isn’t one for kids.

Submitted by Betsy Bishop, Somers Library

Books to Sing To

(original email sent to listserv August 8, 2012)

Hi all,

I want to develop a small collection of storytime books to use with children ages 1 and a half to 4. I’d like the books to be books that I can sing to, such as Raffi’s Down by the Bay.  Does anybody have any favorites?

I hope the summer is going well for everyone!

Rebecca, LAR


Mary Ann Hoberman had a whole lot of picture books on nusery rhymes/songs and her pictures are often very inviting and whimsical. Check them out!
-Teresa, EAS


There are a lot of fun variations to “There Was An Old Who Swallowed a Fly” that are always fun to sing at storytime.

Also, I love The Seals on the Bus by Hort. 

Also nice is Tweedle Dee Dee by Voake (It’s basically the song – the green grass grows all around all around, and the green grass grows all around)

She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain version by Jonathan Emmett is fun.

On Top of Spaghetti by Paul Brett Johnson is always a hit.

-Amy, BRI


Down by the Station by Will Hillenbrand is popular at our story times.

The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Iza Trapani is a came out recently.

Mary Had a Little Lamb is always fun, both the Hoberman and Hale versions are excellent.

-Maria, MTK


Do Your Ears Hang Low? by Church

Miss Mary Mack by Hoberman

Going to the Zoo by Paxton

Nadine Bernard Westcott’s Skip to my Lou, Lady with the Alligator Purse and others.

Mary Wore Her Red Dress by Peek: a big favorite. Then we sing about what everyone’s wearing! “Connor wore his striped sweater…”

We always sing happy birthday after reading Little Gorilla by Bornstein or Happy Birthday, Sam by Hutchins.

-Teresa, CHA


Annie Kubler has published a nice set of  10 X 10 boardbooks, such as Twinkle, Twinkle, Itsy Bitsy Spider, I’m a Little Teapot, etc.
Anne, MON


Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats or anyone else is one of my favorites.
Junemarie, POU


Some others I’ve used are
The Little White Duck by Walt Whippo and
The Eensy Weensy Spider by Mary Ann Hoberman
If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Ed Emberley
Lisa, CRO


LIZARD’S SONG by George Shannon, illustrated by the (sigh) late Jose Aruego.

I also love Peter Spier’s THE FOX WENT OUT ON A CHILLY NIGHT and I second the appreciation of Nadine Westcott’s books.

Miriam, CHA