Friday, July 31, 2009

Those Darn Squirrels

Most people have something that they love more than anything else. Maybe it’s anything pink or it’s shoes. Maybe it is the fall or maybe it is the beach. Old Man Fookwire loves birds. He loves to paint birds too. He hates everything else- puppies, pie. How can you hate pie? I love pie!! Birds were the only thing he liked. So he built beautiful birdfeeders for his beloved birds and filled them with delicious seeds and berries. The birds loved them. So did the squirrels.

Old Man Fookwire was not happy. He shook his fist and yelled,”Those darn squirrels.” Something must be done. He builds higher feeders, but those squirrels are clever. In one of the cutest books I have seen this year, Adam Rubin has created a wonderful story to read over and over. Check out Those Darn Squirrels. You will laugh out loud. Who doesn’t need a good laugh?

If you haven't read Melanie Watt's series about Scaredy Squirrel. He, too, will make you laugh out loud.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Read It, Don't Eat It!

Looking for a just right book to share with the Littles at Storytime or during the first week of school? I just finished a wonderful new story by Ian Schoenherr, Read It, Don’t Eat It!

Simply told in rhyming couplets, adorable animals tell the “book care rules.” On the title page, a bear gently holds and looks at a book. On page one he holds the book close to his chest, closes his eyes and smells. Turn the page. “Read it, don’t eat it!” it says. Bear has the book in the corner of his mouth.

The story goes on to show the reader how to care for a book. Charming illustrations and easy rhyming couplets make this book a winner and a classic in the making. Read it to your class or with your grandchildren. As my mother would say, “ a good time will be had by all.”

Look for other ideas about library orientation to follow in future blogs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where in the World is Deborah 2009?

It’s that time of year again. Show season! Every year I pull myself off the road and do something for myself. (A lesson we could all learn.) Surprise for you newbies: I do theater. This year I took a back seat and stayed on the production crew side of Bye Bye Birdie. I was Costume Mistress for a cast of 45. Begging from the cast, borrowing from Junior Theatre and stealing from my own stash, we put on an almost sold out run of 10 shows which closed on Sunday night. Vanguard has been doing shows at Westminster for more than 40 years, drawing families together and building new friendships within the community.

In the last few years, I have taken the opportunity to encourage storytelling and reading with the Littles, Middles, and Young at Hearts during the run of the show. I lug in a suitcase of mostly picture books and do booktalks, read stories and tell original stories to the cast before the director gives notes and the musical director does warm ups. The Littles and Middles can read the books in between scenes. We talk about their favorites. It’s a nice gathering time that eases nerves and gives me an audience to test out my favorites.

This morning I read a book, Celestine Drama Queen by Penny Ives, that I wished I had read before closing night. I hope that they will read about it here instead. (And then of course, rush out to the library to read the entire book.)

Celestine is a Drama Queen. Complete with tiara, Celestine prepares for her big part in the school play. Never lacking in ego (she is a princess after all!), she learns that even stars have much to learn.

As the costume mistress in this year’s show, I learned several lessons myself. You don’t have to be on the stage to be part of the family. It takes a team of people to pull off a big production. There are no small parts. If everyone does his part, we all win. One of our cast members tore his Achilles tendon during the run. Down to one leg, he could no longer pitch in like he had with set moving. This theater family that I love so much, just jumped right in and delegated. He, on the other hand, still came to the show and stood when he could. Many parts and helpful hands created a show that brought joy to hundreds of people- even if we did have to sing “We Love You Conrad” 4,723 times.