Friday, January 30, 2015


Every Child Ready to Read 2 (ECRR2) is an early literacy guideline/parent education initiative developed by the Public Library Association (PLA) and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) - divisions of the American Library Association.  It was originally released in 2004 and revised a few years later (hence the 2). There are five skills emphasized in ECRR2: Play, Sing, Write, Talk, Read.

This is the second in a series of posts about ECRR2, focusing on the five practices.  

The Importance of Writing in Early Literacy Skills

Writing and literacy go hand in hand.  Writing helps children learn about print, letters, and increases both vocabulary and narrative skills.

As a young child scribbles, she is learning the skills that will one day help her to write her name and to read a sentence.  The marks a child makes on a page (or even your wall) make seem like nonsense to you; however, to the young “writer” those marks may very likely represent a story.  Through writing, children learn to correlate letters and words with the sounds they make and the objects they represent.  Writing also helps children to understand that print has meaning.

Scribbling is just one part of writing.  Learning and drawing shapes is a step in making letters.  Tracing lines, whether with a writing utensil or with a finger, is another.  These activities are stepping stones to learning to write. 

Using different materials to do these activities can not only be fun, but can help children learn through the sense of touch.  Try different types of materials, such as crayons, markers, and chalk, when drawing.  Use yarn to draw shapes and letters or cut shapes from sandpaper so they can be felt by little hands. 

So pull out the drawing supplies and have fun!   Play with the building supplies and make some shapes and letters.  Have fun with your child and develop literacy skills while you are at it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Insta-challenge, part 4

Another week of the #BSMphotoaday challenge on Instagram!

19. Bookish Mess

20. Stationery

21.  Books and Pens

22. Book I loved but didn't think I would

The audio is fantastic!

23. Owls
I keep seeing this book.  Finally placed a library hold.

24. Book Shopping
How I shop for my book-loving niece who lives 1400 miles away.

25. Pic of closest book to you 

My bedside table.  Not pictured: audiobooks on iPhone and ebooks on iPad.

Friday, January 23, 2015

ECRR2 - Playing

Every Child Ready to Read 2 (ECRR2) is an early literacy guideline/parent education initiative developed by the Public Library Association (PLA) and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) - divisions of the American Library Association.  It was originally released in 2004 and revised a few years later (hence the 2). There are five skills emphasized in ECRR2: Play, Sing, Write, Talk, Read.

This is the first in a series of posts about ECRR2, focusing on the five practices.  

The Importance of Play in Early Literacy Skills

When a child plays, she develops a variety of skills.  Through exercising her imagination, she learns about how the world works.  She develops her language skills and ability to put her thoughts into words.  Playing also helps her to think symbolically – that an item can be imagined as something else (i.e. a cardboard box is a car – or a house – or a cave).  Through playing she will process what she sees and hears in the world around her.  

Play encompasses so many of a child’s activities.  Dramatic or imaginative play can be more than enjoying a round of make believe.  As a child does artwork or crafts, he in engaging in a type of imaginative play that will not only increase his literacy skills, but also his fine motor skills.  

However, it isn’t enough for a child to play alone.  Enjoying an activity – whether it is coloring, play dough, a board game, or a tea party – is best shared with the child’s parents or other close adults.  Through this interaction a child learns not only how to properly utilize the items being played with, but how to use her words to express what she is doing.  Additionally, this is a fantastic way to bond with your child and show him that you are willing to take the time to do what they enjoy. 

While fancy toys can be fun, simple activities such as playing with blocks, creating with play dough, and drawing with crayons also encourage literacy skills without costing a lot of money. 

So, sit on the floor with your kids and dive into helping to put together a puzzle, color coloring book pages, or build a block tower.  Not only will you help them with their literacy skills, but you will all have a lot of fun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Insta-challenge, part 3

Another week of the #BSMphotoaday challenge on Instagram!

12. You with an author or a pic of your fave author

LOVE the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

13. Outside
Way too cold here to read outside - unless you are a snowman!

14. Fave cover this month

15. Bored/DNF

16. Fave book spine

Newbery and Caldecott winners

17. Awkward cover

Awkward to read in public. Thank goodness for e-readers!

Awkward composition.

18. Book Porn 

A few upcoming reads.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cold Weather Friends preschool storytime plan

Brrr!  I don't know about your area, but in my neck of the woods Old Man Winter has come!  It's been cold and snowy - and did I mention cold?

It's perfect weather for a Cold Weather Friends themed preschool storytime!

Look at these adorable penguins I made to use for this storytime!  I love having a Cricut (I have the original version).  I can make such fun things to use for work. These have magnets on the back.  A coworker used two of them for her toddler programs by clipping them in clothespins. For my five little penguins and their Mama I used the Christmas Cheer cartridge.

Since the large storytime board wasn't set up, and I didn't feel like dragging it out, I used the magnetic "lap board" I keep at my desk.  You might also know it as a metal cookie sheet. The kids loved the penguins!

To view the files, you will need a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (get it free here).

Friday, January 16, 2015

Insta-challenge, part 2

The first full week of January started off with the  #BSMphotoaday Instagram challenge originators gifting their followers with this:

Yay! This makes it easier to follow the themes for the week! And it's easier for me to split my blog posts about the challenge. 

5. Favorite New Release 

6. Book and Lippy 

7. Book Look-a-Like

8. Uncomfortable 

9. Friday Reads

10. Mind Blown

11. Comfy

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Insta-challenge, part 1

I saw this photo a day challenge on Instagram from #BSMphotoaday and thought it sounded fun. So far I've been doing a decent job at keeping up with it. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself. 

Some days I have more photos to post than others.  It's all good. 

Here are the first few days of photos. As the month continues I will post more. 

1. Bookish goals

2. Fave book quote 

3.  Paranormal 

4. Drink

Late night of reading = wishing I liked coffee when I get up the next morning. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Uncommon Pets preschool storytime plan

 I enjoyed planning the Uncommon Pet theme.What a fun storytime! There have been a lot of books published in recent years that feature unusual pets.  My biggest problem with this theme was narrowing the choices down to only two books to read.

Usually I would choose three books to go with the theme, but our group this fall has been made up of a lot of young threes and even younger siblings. 

To view the files, you will need a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (get it free here).

Saturday, January 03, 2015

December 2014 reads

Wow!  I hit my goal!  I read 1005 books in 2014.  That's five more than the goal I set a year ago.  In December I was a little uncertain, as I was a few dozen books behind.  Then a ton of new picture books arrived.  Between that and spending several nights reading novels while the hubby was working, I was able to surpass my goal.  I am rather pleased with myself.

I read 119 books in December. That was more than any previous month in 2014.  Here are the titles.  As usual, if the title is in bold that means I rated it five stars on my Goodreads account. 

The Snow Bride by Debbie Macomber
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Go to Sleep, Little Farm by Mary Lyn Ray
Loula Is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve
Emily's Blue Period by Cathleen Daly
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
Here Comes Santa Cat by Deborah Underwood
Love Still Stands by Kelly Irvin          
Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
All I Want For Christmas is a Duke by Delilah Marvelle and Maire Claremont        
Unexpected Gifts by Elena Aitken
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
B Is for Box -- The Happy Little Yellow Box: A Pop-Up Book by David A. Carter
Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez
Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff
Noodle Magic by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
A Letter for Leo by Sergio Ruzzier
Recycling Day by Edward Miller
Here Is the Baby by Polly Kanevsky
Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman
Santa from Cincinnati by Judi Barrett
Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner? by Tomie dePaola
Peter Claus and the Naughty List by Lawrence David
Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett
Harold at the North Pole by Crockett Johnson
The Littlest Christmas Star by Brandi Dougherty
Must Be Santa by Tim Moore
The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler
The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham
Duck in the Fridge by Jeff Mack
Vanilla Ice Cream by Bob Graham
Mrs. Mo's Monster by Paul Beavis
Loula and the Sister Recipe by Anne Villeneuve
If Kids Ruled the World by Linda Bailey
Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson
Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey
Goodnight, You by Geneviève Côté
Dino-Boarding by Lisa Wheeler
Herman's Letter by Tom Percival
Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton
Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean by Jane Lynch
Naptime by Iris de Moüy
The Storm Whale by Benji Davies
Ping Wants to Play by Adam Gudeon
Just Right for Two by Tracey Corderoy
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
Madame Martine by Sarah S. Brannen
The Zoo is Closed Today! by Evelyn Beilenson
Doug Unplugs on the Farm by Dan Yaccarino
Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar by Keith Richards
The Zoo Box by Ariel Cohn
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass
Work: An Occupational ABC by Kellen Hatanaka
Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Francis Child
Blizzard by John Rocco
Snowman's Story by Will Hillenbrand
Dinosaur Parade by Shari Halpern
Grandma by Jessica Shepherd
Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana by James Dean
Take Away the A by Michaël Escoffier
You Are Not My Friend, but I Miss You by Daniel Kirk
Ninja Boy Goes to School by N.D. Wilson
Me & Dog by Gene Weingarten
Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming
Maisy's Christmas Tree by Lucy Cousins
Snow What Fun! When Snowmen Come to Life on Christmas Eve by Cheryl Hawkinson
'Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
When the Snow Falls by Fern Michaels, Nancy Bush, Rosanna Chiofalo, Lin Stepp
Eric's Big Day: A Bicycle Race Unlike Any Other by Rod Waters
Alexander, Who's Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever by Judith Viorst
Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli
Coming Home by Greg Ruth
Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer
Beautiful Yetta's Hanukkah Kitten by Daniel Pinkwater
Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel by Amy Cartwright
California Christmas Dreams by J.M. Jeffries
It's a Book by Lane Smith
Naughty & Nice: Three Holiday Treats by Ruthie Knox, Molly O'Keefe, and Stefanie Sloane
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Her Christmas Pleasure (The Merry Widows #2) by Karen Erickson
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
Outside by Deirdre Gill
The Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horáček
Winter Is Coming by Tony Johnston
How to Bake a Book by Ella Burfoot
And Away We Go! by Migy
Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan
Edda: A Little Valkyrie's First Day of School by Adam Auerbach
The Lion and the Mouse: Turn-and-Tell Tales by Jenny Broom
Out of the Blue by Alison Jay
Here Comes Destructosaurus! by Aaron Reynolds
How to Raise a Dinosaur by Natasha Wing
Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman
Monster Needs a Christmas Tree by Paul Czajak
The Last Christmas Tree by Stephen Krensky
Merry Christmas, Davy! by Brigitte Weninger
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz
What the Shepherd Saw by Selma Lagerloeff
Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughan
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
You Are Not Small by Anna Kang
Tap to Play! by Salina Yoon
Bad Dog Flash by Ruth Paul
Sir Nicholas WintonThe Farmer's Away! Baa! Neigh! by Anne Vittur Kennedy
Dinosaur Farm by Frann Preston-Gannon
A Bean, a Stalk and a Boy Named Jack by William Joyce
Autumn in Scotland by Karen Ranney
El Deafo by Cece Bell
No Nap! Yes Nap! by Margie Palatini