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I just devoured After Iris by Natasha Farrant and oh my goodness it was lovely. Twelve year old Bluebell (her parents named all their children after plants as an homage to their forgotten hippie days) is one of 5 kids. She and her twin sister Iris were inseparable until 3 years ago when Iris was killed. Now her family seems to be falling apart - both of her parents have jobs that keep them away for weeks at a time, her older sister suddenly has pink dreads, and her younger two siblings need more. Zoran, their au pair, is wonderful but everything seems to be spiraling out of Blue’s control.
Can I just say that there is nothing that drives me battier than bad parenting. I wanted to sit these two parents down and remind them that while they are dealing with Ivy’s death SO ARE THEIR CHILDREN. THEIR FOUR LIVING CHILDREN WHO LOVE THEM AND NEED THEM AROUND. But that’s part of what makes this book so great - I cared so much and so deeply about all these people and can’t wait for the copies that I ordered for my library to arrive so I can start giving it to patrons.
This book will be great for fans of Reel Life Starring Us (both main characters are aspiring directors who are dealing with big family and social issues), Looking for Red by Angela Johnson (both main characters are dealing with the death of a beloved sibling) (also oh my goodness I love that new cover! So much better than the dated cover I’ve got here at my library. Maybe that one would circ more - hmmm), orEach Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles (both have that sort of intense, poignant feel that pulls you through and leaves you crying in the break room at work even though nothing especially traumatizing has happened yet).
(Many thanks to Netgalley for the ARC)
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OHMIGOSH it was the best ever. Our normal storytimes are half an hour but this one was 45 minutes to add in a bit of teaching. For the most part it was a regular storytime but the catch was that everything was digital. We hooked our laptop up to the digital projector thingie which projected onto the big screen on the wall. Our music was from Overdrive as well as one of the books. We did two books through tumblebooks, and a handful of fingerplays through youtube. Before every element I gave a short lesson what I was doing (long enough to hopefully make sense but short enough that I didn’t lose the kids), “This next book we’re going to read through Tumblebooks! Tumblebooks is a database the library subscribes to so you can find these right on our website under resources then it’s all alphabetical so if you scroll down to T you can click on Tumblebooks!” Then the next time I used that same resource I expanded a little on that explanation. “We’re reading this book in English but Tumblebooks has a great Spanish selection as well as some super fun nonfiction books that you can sort by reading level and they even have Accelerated Reader information for all their titles!”
After the storytime was over I invited anyone with questions to stay behind and I would run them through anything they wanted. My coworker brought in a basket of big trucks and dinosaurs to keep kids happy while I showed the parents exactly how to find tumblebooks and showed 2 families how Overdrive works with their devices (everyone was already good on how to use Youtube). It was awesome.
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I work this weekend and I’m trying to figure out which of these stylish ensembles to emulate Saturday and which to emulate Sunday. Any advice?
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Word of advice - if you are making pool noodle light sabers for May the forth, use black electrical tape instead of black making tape because the making tape will peel right up and you’ll have to rep your art.
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I’m weeding today and as I weed I’ve been thinking about all those little things I do when I weed that I think makes weeding more effective/more efficient/more fun - these tips are the reason that I can make weeding an ongoing constant thing and I don’t have to do a huge once a year weed.
If I typed them all up with pictures and examples, would y’all think that was helpful or would it be dry boring school stuff that y’all know already? (Side note: I probably wouldn’t get around to typing this up until Friday, my day off, so if the answer is yes, it’ll be a few)
Appy Hour: Felt Board
This app is based on actual felt boards. Choose your character, setting, and props and then the only limit is your imagination. And the pieces will never get lost because it’s all in an app. This could be adapted for storytime too.
More information can be found here.
Every Thursday afternoon, we feature an app handpicked by our staff.
Oh, I love this! I might just have to play around with this.
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I know, and I want to give him a lot of leeway because he is a fictional character and not how a real person would act but when a patron has a problem - an honestly rather serious problem - that is caused by a library policy, snarking at her isn’t funny, it’s painful to read.
Just Finished: Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino.
I’ve been meaning to read Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me for ages and ages but it just hasn’t happened yet so I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of Nan Marino’s newest and let me tell you I absolutely loved it!
Elvis Ruby is the hottest tween star! He’s the favorite to win the reality show Tween Star when he freezes up on stage and drops out of the competition - and out of public life. His father takes him to hide out at the Pancake Palace with a friend from his childhood while he takes stock of his life.
Cecilia was born in the forest just outside town (while her parents were on a camping trip) and when she did the forests sang. Cecilia, however, is completely tone deaf and wonders why music seems to move everybody but her. She’s been searching for the song the forest sang at her birth for her whole life.
A lyrical exploration of what it means to be a tween (and how ridiculous a word “tween” even is), America’s cult of celebrity, and the effect music and friendship and love can have on our lives. I can’t wait for this book to be published (April 16th!) so I can start handing it to kid after kid.
Gotta go - my hold on Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me just came in and after reading Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace, I’m not going to put off reading this one any longer.
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