Monthly Archives: March 2012

Corner: Anita Silvey discusses her Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac | ScrippsNews

Corner: Anita Silvey discusses her Children's Book-a-Day Almanac | ScrippsNews

If you haven’t seen the Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac by Anita Silvey you need to check it out! I was lucky enough to have Anita as a professor at Simmons and she is THE authority on Children’s Literature.

Read this great article below on Anita and the Almanac by Karen MacPherson and don’t forget to look at Anita’s Almanac – there’s a link on the right side of this blog!


Corner: Anita Silvey discusses her Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac | ScrippsNews.

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Children's, In the news

Hunger Games Trivia Night!

Before I write about my Trivia Night, I just want to say thanks to the librarians in Massachusetts who are so awesome about sharing info and ideas about programs. One of the best resources I found was through our youth services listserv and I don’t think I would have found this info without it.

As one of my colleagues put it – “Why reinvent the wheel?” And why should we? All we want is good programs that we don’t have kill ourselves planning. Because we have about a million other things to do. (You know, like read all day at the desk, for instance…..)  ha. Which is also why I write about my programs – to give back.

Anyways, I “borrowed” my Hunger Games Trivia Night from Amity Middle School – Bethany Book Blog. They posted all their trivia questions and a great idea for a Cornucopia Race. Thank you!

I think though, I may have been overly-confident about my preparedness. I had my staff type out the questions and answers and put them on index cards. I probably should have read them over and weeded out ones that I didn’t think would work or that were actually wrong (whether because of typos or what) so that I wasn’t weeding as I read them aloud. Yeah. Also, I should have borrowed some kind of buzzer system. Because we ended up with lots more teens the day of, so I wasn’t really prepared for the 17-or-so kids that came. I looked around for whistles or bells. Nothing. We ended up with 2 teams – boys against girls – yeah, sexist but whatever – and using toy instruments from my baby story time. This worked for all of 10 minutes and then there was slamming tables, arguments over who slammed first, etc. Then I ended up going back and forth with the questions. If a team got one wrong, the other team could steal. This sort of worked. I think if I do it again, I should do a Jeopardy board. Someone remind me of this.

The second was better – the Cornucopia Race! This was really fun. Again, though, I probably should have read through the whole thing. Maybe I could have adapted it ……. or shortened it. But it was still really fun. The general idea is to collect a bunch of items that would have been in the Cornucopia – a tarp, bow & arrows, knife, food, sleeping bag, matches, shoes, blanket, etc. I had everything on the list: some items I had at the library or at home and some I made. I only purchased a couple of items. We kept the same teams for this. When I said “GO”, one person on each team ran to the “Cornucopia” and grabbed one item. They ran back and tagged another member who ran to get another item. Just like the players in The Hunger Games, no one knew what they would need. When everything was gone, I read a little story. In the story, different things happened to the players where they required certain items to survive. If a team happened to have those items, they would get 5 points. The team with the most points at the end of the story wins. Very good idea!


This was tough because while I had a good amount of prizes (Mockingjay Pins, books, posters, etc.) I didn’t have something for everyone. I made it so that the team that one a round of trivia got to put their name in the bucket more times than the other team, or if they won the Cornucopia Race, etc. It actually ended up being pretty even. So, just like the reaping, I pulled names and as I called them, they could come up and pick a prize. They seemed pretty happy with it. I made up certificates for a free k-cup coffee from our cafe for those who didn’t get a real prize.

Final Thoughts:

Fun night, overall. I could have been more prepared, but lesson learned. The kids – even number of boys and girls – were totally into the book and psyched about the movie, which was coming out that night at midnight. Most were there just to win a Mockingjay pin, but they were THERE. So I win 🙂

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but my husband and I have a date to see it on Friday!



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Filed under Library, Programs & Performers, Teen, YA Books

A Killer Story: An Interview with Suzanne Collins, Author of ‘The Hunger Games’

Great interview with Suzanne Collins from School Library Journal!

A Killer Story: An Interview with Suzanne Collins, Author of ‘The Hunger Games’.

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Mockingjay Pin!

I am SOOOO excited because I now have my very own Mockingjay Pin!! I cleaned out my local Hot Topic ($12.50 each) and 2 Walmarts ($7.00) and ended up with 7 pins total. They are sold out on Hot Topic’s online store! The ones at Walmart are tough to find. I went to 5 total and a staff member actually found 3 pins at one I had already checked. They were laying down, out of sight, in the book section – this is where I found the other ones too, with the books, in case you want to try and find them. (They are not online at and employees have no idea what they are when you ask for them.)

Crazy. So one is for me (purchased with my own hard-earned money, of course) and the rest will be for prizes for our Hunger Games Trivia Night tomorrow night!! Woohoo!!

I feel super-cool when I wear mine at work. Or….in public….

Happy Hunger Games 😉

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Snow-Themed Story Time

Well, today was about 72 degrees so I feel strange posting about my story time on snow, but here it is…

Opening Song

My Hands Say Hello (Click here for a previous post on this song w/ words)



Snowmen at Night is a book I use pretty much every year because it’s really fun to read. The story is about – you guessed it – what snowmen do at night. Which is snowball fights, sledding, skating and drinking cold cocoa, of course. This explains why snowmen might look a bit “saggy” the next day (aka – they were partying all night.)

Millions of Snowflakes is a quick counting book where you – yup – count the snowflakes. It’s good for a younger crowd and gets them involved in what’s going on. They love it when I need their help to count things in books!

The Snowy Day is of course the classic story of a little boy exploring the snow. It’s a quiet book, and while I love it, it may be better for an older or smaller group.

Songs & Activities

I like to use the Raffi song Shake My Sillies Out in the middle of the story time – sometimes between books if the kids are getting a bit antsy.

I’m a Little Snowman (to the tune of “I’m a Little Tea Cup“)

I’m a Little Snowman – short and fat
Here is my scarf, here is my hat
When the sun comes out I melt Away
But when it’s cold I’m here to stay

Walking, Walking (to the tune of “Frere Jacques“)

Walking, walking
Walking, walking
Hop, hop, hop!
Hop, hop, hop!
Running, running, running
Running, running, running
Now we stop
Now we stop.

The kids LOVE this. I usually do it at the end, before we go sit down to do our craft. I have the kids line up behind me and we start walking in a circle. Then we hop like bunnies. Then we run (more of a slow jog) and then we stop and freeze. This is the point when several kids crash into my butt. They think it’s hilarious. Sometimes the parents join in too.

Funny anecdote: A few weeks ago a little boy stood in front of me with his arms up as we started this game, silently insisting that I pick him up. So I did this whole thing (3 times) with a very heavy one year old in my arms. He also refused to get down or go to his mother after, so I had to do the whole craft one handed. No wonder moms have great arms! 🙂


I happened to find a bunch of foam snowflake stamps in the story time storage closet. No idea where they came from, but I knew they’d come in handy someday! I put out white paint, the stamps and dark & light blue construction paper. Also, I put down newspaper. I quickly realized that in order for the snowflake shape to come out, the kids needed to dip the stamp in the paint and then stamp it on paper towels a few times before stamping the paper. After we figured this out, it was great. It was also super easy, which the parents liked. I keep old button-down shirts and small aprons in case anyone has nice clothes on. The mess was pretty minimal for both groups.



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Filed under Children's, Library, Picture Books, Story Time

Sunday Quiz

Animal Characters in Children’s Books


(Not sure if I’ve done this one already.)


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Filed under Children's, Picture Books, Quiz

Hunger Games!!!! (i.e. YA Book Review)

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know, I was kind of worried about reading this again because it was just so amazing the first time. But enough time passed that I was a bit fuzzy on some of the details, so I had to re-read it before the movie. Yup – still amazing.

Anyone who says differently is selling something. 😉

(P.S.) Totally bought myself a mockingjay pin today!

View all my reviews

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Teen, Tweens, YA Books