Saturday, December 31, 2016

Storytime Kit: STEM Discovery

These kits are primarily for classroom or home classroom use but families do check them out as well. They include books at a variety of levels, toys that includes both educational and sensory aspects, and sheets with tips for early literacy and sensory play. They're kept in plastic bins with a handle and people are only supposed to open them at home, not play with them in the library, unlike our regular toy bags. There is a label reminding patrons of this rule. This kit is a mixture of measuring, water play, sensory toys, and other STEM-related ideas.

Materials Include
  • Plastic bin - purchased from Walmart
  • Learning Resources Smart Splash Shape Shell Turtles ($15)
  • Pour and Measure Play Set ($18)
  • Books
    • The Odd One Out by Britta Teckentrup: 9780763671273
    • Where's the pair by Britta Teckentrup: 9780763677725
    • Albert's bigger than big idea: 9781575655222
    • Mousy Mess: 9781575656472
    • Albert adds up: 9781575657455
    • 10 Hungry Rabbits (board book): 9780553498288
  • Laminated sheet of early literacy and sensory tips

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Animal Facts

National Geographic is always popular and after some digging I found four titles at roughly similar levels.
  • Ants 9781430121145
  • Dinosaurs 9781430121091
  • Ponies 9781430121046
  • Safari 9781430118893

Friday, December 2, 2016

We Listen: Seasons

This is a set of seasonal and outdoor stories. I included one bilingual title as well.

  • The biggest snowman ever by Steven Kroll: 9780545163507
  • Too many pumpkins by Linda White: 9781591128298
  • Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 9781591127451
  • Yum Yum Que Rico by Pat Mora: 9781430114482

Friday, November 25, 2016

We Listen: Clifford

This is a collection of Clifford stories.

  • Clifford's Birthday Party: 9780545117562
  • Clifford takes a trip: 9780545003582
  • Clifford the small red puppy: 9780439924924
  • Clifford's good deeds: 9780545014830
Insert in publisher format available here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

We Listen: Bedtime

This set is bedtime stories. They're not all classics or lullabies, but things that I thought fit into a bedtime story role.

  • Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells (pb only): 9780140567281
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown: 9781595192578
  • Imani's Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood: 9781430118992
  • Ira sleeps over by Bernard Waber: 9780618852826

We Listen: School Stories

This set includes four school stories.

  • Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes: 9781591123590
  • Countdown to kindergarten by Alison McGhee: 9781591129271
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (pb only): 9780688147327
  • Fine, fine school by Sharon Creech: 9781591124979

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Classics

As always, classics are...the other stuff.

  • Come back Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish: 9780061336089
  • Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff: 9780060786878
  • Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban: 9780061336119
  • Josefina Story Quilt: 9781430108160

Friday, November 11, 2016

We Listen: Classic Stories

This is actually the first set of classic stories I put together.

  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans: 9780142408711
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (out of print): 9780142413876
  • Sylvester and the magic pebble by William Steig: 9781442435605
  • Caps for sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (out of print): 9780694700042

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Giggle and Shriek

These were going to be scary stories, but some of them are more gross and funny than scary. There aren't a lot of scary easy readers. I purchased The Big Fat Cow that Goes Kapow separately - paperback and cd.

  • In a dark, dark room by Alvin Schwartz: 9780061336133
  • No more monsters for me by Peggy Parish: 9780061336140
  • Mouse soup by Arnold Lobel: 9780061336102
  • Big fat cow that goes Kapow! by Andy Griffiths: 

Friday, November 4, 2016

We Listen: Tasty Tales

This is all food-themed books and cds.

  • Cloudy with a chance of meatballs by Judi Barrett: 9781442443372
  • Pickles to Pittsburgh by Judi Barrett: 9781442444591
  • Cock-a-doodle-doo! by Janet Stevens (pb only): 9780152056582
  • How do dinosaurs eat their food by Jane Yolen: 9780545117555

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Dr. Seuss

It's harder than you would think to find enough Dr. Seuss easy readers to make a whole pack!

  • Fox in socks: 9780375834943
  • Dr. Seuss's ABC: 9780375834967
  • Cat in the Hat: 9780375834929
  • Green eggs and ham: 9780375834958

Friday, October 28, 2016

We Listen: Fractured Fairy Tales

Technically these are not all fractured fairy tales, but they all have that silly, fairy-tale-flip feeling to them.

  • The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka (out of print): 9781591122302
  • The true story of the three little pigs by Jon Scieszka (pb only): 9780140544510
  • Bad boys by Margie Palatini (pb only): 9780060001049
  • The Umbrella by Jan Brett (hc only): 9780399242151

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Animals Move

This was going to be National Geographic easy readers, but I couldn't find 4 that fit, so I threw in Puppy Mudge. These are growing in popularity and I am trying to keep the reading level roughly similar.

  • Swim Fish: 9781430118831
  • Jump Pup: 9781430118800
  • Swing Sloth: 9781430118770
  • Puppy Mudge wants to play: 9781430114147

Friday, October 21, 2016

We Listen: Things that Go

I wish I had more "truck" type books, but this is what I had and I'm making the most of it.

  • I Stink! by Kate McMullan (pb only): 9780064438360
  • Curious George rides a bike by H. A. Rey: 9780618689460
  • Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel by Virginia Lee Burton: 9780618737567
  • Caboose who got loose by Bill Peet: 9780618959792

We Listen: Exploring Outside

This is a good all-ages one, since it includes two older and two younger stories about the natural world and outdoor imaginative play.

  • Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran (pb only): 9780060526337
  • Weslandia by Paul Fleischman (pb only): 9780763610524
  • In the tall, tall grass by Denise Fleming (pb only): 9780805039412
  • In the small, small pond by Denise Fleming (pb only): 9780805059830

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Animal Friends

This pack includes four easy readers and cds about animals.

  • Go away dog by Joan Nodset: 9780061765025
  • Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff: 9780061335402
  • Mittens by Lola Schaefer: 9780061765018
  • Harry and the lady next door by Gene Zion: 9780061336096


Monday, October 17, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Peekaboo Pals

This bag includes three books with extensive lift-the-flap action. They're too fragile for the general board book and picture book areas, so I decided to make them a toy. I did not purchase them; they were review copies I donated.

Sources for Materials

  • Peekaboo Pals 123: 9781626865211
  • Peekaboo Pals ABC: 9781626865204
  • Peekaboo Pals Opposites: 9781626865228

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Storytime Kit: Nesting Farm

These kits are primarily for classroom or home classroom use but families do check them out as well. They include books at a variety of levels, a toy that includes both educational and sensory aspects, and sheets with tips for early literacy and sensory play. They're kept in plastic bins with a handle and people are only supposed to open them at home, not play with them in the library, unlike our regular toy bags. There is a label reminding patrons of this rule.

Materials included:
  • Plastic bin - purchased from Walmart
  • Nesting Farm - Melissa & Doug (includes tip sheet for play activities)
  • Books
    • Mary had a little lamb (Indestructibles): 9780761158608
    • Old Macdonald had a farm (Indestructibles): 9780761159223
    • Down on the farm 1, 2, 3 (nonfiction picture book): 9781681520025
    • Pig-Piggy-Pigs (easy reader): 9780448482217
    • Backyard chickens (easy reader): 9780448487205
    • No sleep for the sheep (picture book): 9780544668348
    • Chicken dance (picture book): 9781454914778
    • Chicken Squad: The first misadventure: 9781442496774
  • Laminated sheet of early literacy and sensory tips

Friday, October 14, 2016

We Listen: All About Animals

These were sort of animal-related titles; I've been told the Gail Gibbons nonfiction aren't very fun to listen to, so hopefully throwing in the poetry and inspirational story will make this more attractive.
  • Beast Feast by Douglas Florian (pb only): 9780152017378
  • Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier (pb only): 9780689869907
  • Sharks by Gail Gibbons: 9781595190802
  • Sea Turtles by Gail Gibbons: 9781595190765

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Listen 'n' Read

Earlier this year I adapted out book+cd bags to be in packs. I've been toying with the idea of adding easy reader audiobooks and decided to do them in the same format. They're a little trickier to find four in a theme or by the same author, but I've mostly done it! They're also in different-colored bags to make it easier for staff. I adapted the insert slightly as well to address early readers.

I have noted in the listing of materials when the book + cd is out of print or if the isbn only indicates the pb. Some sets were purchased from other vendors.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Imagine a Story: Horses

This one has a rubber horse and a book by Patricia Hubbell, Horses! The book is out of print and the horse comes with a big set so when it wears out I will probably have to completely redo it.

Publisher file available here

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Storytime Kit: Cars

These kits are primarily for classroom or home classroom use but families do check them out as well. They include books at a variety of levels, a toy that includes both educational and sensory aspects, and sheets with tips for early literacy and sensory play. They're kept in plastic bins with a handle and people are only supposed to open them at home, not play with them in the library, unlike our regular toy bags. There is a label reminding patrons of this rule.

Materials included

  • Plastic bin - purchased from Walmart
  • Nesting cars - Melissa & Doug (includes tip sheet for play activities)
  • Books
    • Vehicles (board book with raised shapes): 9781452145167
    • Honda the boy who dreamed of cars (picture book biography): 9781620141915
    • How do monster trucks work? (intermediate easy reader): 9781467796835
    • Digby O'Day in the Fast Lane (beginning chapter book): 9780763673697
    • Pocket Genius Cars (mini paperback guide): 9781465442376
    • Jon Scieszka's Trucktown (box set of easy readers): 9781481444835
  • Laminated sheet of early literacy and sensory tips

Friday, October 7, 2016

We Listen: Classic Stories Set 2

This set is basically "classics" that didn't fit anywhere else.

  • Harold and the purple crayon by Crockett Johnson (pb only): 9780064430227
  • A pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman: 9780142410400
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman: 9780142408391
  • Nana upstairs and Nana downstairs by Tomie DePaola (pb only): 9780698118362

Monday, October 3, 2016

Imagine a Story: Tiny Little Fly

This bag is a little crowded because it has a large hardcover, a very large rubber elephant, and a tiger smooshed in there.

Sources for materials
  • Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen (hardcover): 9780763646813
  • Zebra and giraffe from set of 5 jumbo soft jungle animals, purchased from Discount School Supply

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Storytime Kit

These started in 2015 as a collection of toys, books, and early literacy materials. Basically the same thing I put in a bag but the toys were too large! So I stored them in large tubs. I found that more teachers checked them out and they worked better as kits.

Friday, September 30, 2016

We Listen: Clever Tricksters

This set includes four tales that are (loosely) trickster stories.

  • Stone soup by Marcia Brown: 9781591127352
  • The tale of tricky fox by Jim Aylesworth (hc): 9780439095433
  • My lucky day by Keiko Kasza (pb only): 9780142404560
  • I, crocodile by Fred Marcellino (pb only): 9780060088590

Friday, September 23, 2016

We Listen: Silly Stories

This set includes four silly stories and cds.

  • The rain came down by David Shannon: 9780545138574
  • That's good! That's bad! by Margery Cuyler: 9781595190963
  • Imogene's Antlers by David Small (out of print): 9780874993226
  • George and Martha by James Marshall: 9780618839513

Friday, September 16, 2016

We Listen: Musical Stories

This set includes two books that are songs or include music and two song book collections.

Materials include:

  • Mary wore her red dress and Henry wore his green sneakers by Merle Peek: 9780618752492
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin: 9781416927181
  • Wee Sing for Baby (out of print): 9780843177756
  • Wee Sing children's songs and fingerplays (out of print): 9780843177619

Friday, September 9, 2016

We Listen: Silly Pet Tails

This set includes four silly stories about pets. Hey, Al was pushing it a little, but the dog is part of it so... I needed four to make up the set!

  • Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks (pb only): 9780374429850
  • The Day Jimmy's Boa ate the wash by Steven Kellogg (pb only): 9780140546231
  • Pinkerton, Behave! by Steven Kellogg (pb only): 9780142300077
  • Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel: 9781427231789


Insert available in publisher format here


Friday, September 2, 2016

We Listen: Dog Tails

This bag includes four different stories about dogs.
  • Arthur's New Puppy by Marc Brown (out of print): 9780316059558
  • "Let's get a pup!" said Kate by Bob Graham (pb only): 9780763621933
  • No dogs allowed! by Sonia Manzano (pb only): 9781416938385
  • Hairy Maclary's rumpus at the vet by Lynley Dodd (pb only): 9781582460949

Friday, August 26, 2016

We Listen: Animal Classics

This set includes four classic animal stories.

  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (out of print): 9780142409527
  • The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward (out of print): 9780395479513
  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey: 9780142416433
  • Make way for ducklings by Robert McCloskey: 9780142413869 


Insert available here in publisher format

Friday, August 19, 2016

We Listen: Paul Galdone

This bag includes four folktales by Paul Galdone on book and cd.

  • Henny Penny (pb alone): 9780899192253
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff (pb alone): 9780618894994
  • The Little Red Hen: 9780618752508
  • The Three Little Pigs: 9780618732777

Friday, August 12, 2016

We Listen: Anansi Tales

This bag includes four book and cd sets, all Anansi stories by Eric Kimmel.

  • Anansi and the Magic Stick: 9781591125068
  • Anansi goes fishing: 9781591126799
  • Anansi and the talking melon: 9781591126836
  • Anansi and the moss-covered rock: 9781591126751


Insert in publisher format available here

Friday, August 5, 2016

We Listen: An Introduction

I've had the traditional book and cd bags for quite a while. Sometimes they circulate, sometimes they don't. It seems mostly based on how visible they are, but their circulation has been steadily dropping over the past few years and I've decided we need to get them out there! Towards that end, I've combined them in packs of four, added an insert about the importance of audiobooks and some additional resources, and tech services cataloged them as toys. In the first week or two of locating them by the toy bags and packing them in larger kits, they circulated immediately, so I think this worked out well.

I have noted in the listing of materials when the book + cd is out of print or if the isbn only indicates the pb. Some sets were purchased from other vendors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Imagine a story: Everything I need to know before I'm five

This includes two books, one of them an interactive board book that teaches you left from right, and a set of plastic letter popsicles. The popsicles have both an upper and lower case letter and snap together. They're also matched by color.

Sources for materials

  • Everything I need to know before I'm five by Valorie Fisher (hc): 9780375868658
  • Left hand, right hand by Janet Brown: 9780764159244
  • Alpha Pops can be purchased in numerous places

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Imagine a Story: Tadpole to Frog

This kit includes a reversible frog puppet and three books. It originally had another frog puppet, but it fell apart (the cheap puppets from Discount School Supply don't last long). There's also a handout that goes with From tadpole to frog but I did not include that in the list of contents.

Sources for materials

  • Folkmanis tadpole to frog puppet (no longer available)
  • The Croaky Pokey! by Ethan Long: 9780823424290
  • From tadpole to frog by Wendy Pfeffer: 9780062381866
  • Tale of a tadpole by Karen Wallace: 9781465435088

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Imagine a Story: Life Cycles


This bag includes a lift-the-flap book and three sets of plastic life cycles. The worm and ant ones smell weirdly horrible and came out of the package that way. Nobody seems to mind though.

Sources for materials

  • What will I be? by Nicola Davies: 9780763658038
  • The butterfly life cycle stage came from Discount School Supply, but they don't sell that particular set anymore.
  • The worm and ant life cycles are from Insect Lore, which can be bought on Amazon. They were a donation, otherwise I'd get something different that doesn't have that horrible plastic smell.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

[unavailable] Imagine a Story: Jungle Fun

I consolidated this bag from a bunch of other bags that had single puppets and books. It includes four jungle-themed books (one with a cd) and 5 jungle hand puppets. The puppets are inexpensive (about $4 apiece) but they don't last very long. At some point I'll add/replace them in this bag.

Sources for materials:
  • The Parrot Tico Tango (includes cd): 9781846866692
  • How the zebra got its stripes: 9780307988706 
  • Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreas: 9781589253674
  • Here comes Doctor Hippo by Jonathan London: 9781620915950
  • Puppets from a set of 12, Excelleration Animal Hand Puppets, purchased from Discount School Supply

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Imagine a Story: Savannah Counting

This bag includes a hardcover book; the story of a giraffe who wants to count everything and her friend the zebra. It also includes two rubber animals. I've found that, while kids love them, they're rather unwieldy to include in the bags.

Sources for materials
  • Abigail by Catherine Rayner (hardcover): 9781589251472 
  • Zebra and giraffe from set of 5 jumbo soft jungle animals, purchased from Discount School Supply

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Imagine a Story: Down on the Farm

This bag contains two classic farm books and three soft rubber animals. There is also a sheet with tips for early literacy play.


Sources for materials
  • Animals from a farm set purchased from Discount School Supply
  • First Snow by Kim Lewis - out of print
  • Cow that went Oink by Bernard Most - 978-0152047634

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Imagine a Story: An Introduction

There were circulating toys at my library when I came, many years ago (I am getting ooooold). However, they were rather...dingy. I've built up the collection over the years to more than 60 toys, almost all narrative/imaginative play. Puppets and books, costumes, etc. After taking the collection in a slightly more focused direction with the Read 'n' Play toys, I decided to revamp the older toys as well.

I have been gradually updating, adding to, and generally weeding the toy collection. The narrative/imaginative play toys are getting early literacy and play tip sheets and being renamed Imagine a Story. I try to make sure the items do not cost more than $20, as I feel that defeats the purpose of offering toys to families who can't afford their own. I also try to get things that can be easily cleaned and lend themselves to imaginative play.

The toys can be played with in the library or checked out. They are also available to other libraries to request and schools can request them as well. My staff disinfect them each time they are returned (er, theoretically, I should really check up that they're doing that...) and we regularly check the bags to make sure all the pieces are in the correct place. I did remove the costumes and make them into a dress-up corner - they were getting very gross.

This collection dates before I arrived at the library in 2008 and I have been steadily adding to it over the past several years. The final (hopefully) updates are happening now in 2016.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Construction

This bag includes a toy crane that comes apart into pieces and two board books. It also includes a sheet of early literacy tips.

Insert in Publisher format available here

Sources for materials:

  • Crane purchased from Ikea (Mula crane with blocks)
  • Demolition: 9780763664930
  • Construction: 9780763679750

Monday, April 25, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Barnyard Dance

This bag includes 2 soft, sensory blocks and a medium-sized edition of Sandra Boynton's Barnyard Dance. It also includes early literacy tips.


Sources for materials
  • The blocks are from a set of 4 - Early Years Soft Baby Blocks. I purchased them from a local store but they can be bought on Amazon.
  • Barnyard Dance! - 9780761166160

Monday, April 18, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Are you a cow?

This bag contains a set of soft, farm animal bowling pins and a ball and a board book of Sandra Boynton's Are you a cow? It also has a sheet of early literacy tips.


Material Sources:
  • EarlyYears Baby Farm Friends Bowling set (purchased at a local store, but is available on Amazon)
  • Are you a cow? ISBN: 9781442417335

Monday, April 11, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Animal Shapes

This bag contains a colored stacker and a touch-and-feel board book, Animal Shapes. It also includes a sheet of early literacy tips.


Sources for materials
  • Rainbow stacker - Melissa and Doug
  • Animal shapes board book - 9781499800395

Monday, April 4, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Homes

This bag has a Skwish and one of Xavier Deneux heavily textured board books. It also includes an early literacy sheet with sensory tip.


Sources for materials
  • Skwish can be purchased on Amazon
  • Homes by Xavier Deneux - 9781452145181

Monday, March 28, 2016

Read 'n' Play: A Ball for Daisy

This bag contains 4 sensory balls, a board book version of Chris Raschka's A Ball for Daisy and a sheet of early literacy instructions as well as a sensory tip.

A link to the publisher file can be found here.

Sources: Discount School Supply

Monday, March 21, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Sing and Move

This bag includes two soft, squishy dolls, board books, and an early literacy sheet with sensory tip.

Publisher file can be accessed here

Sources for materials:
  • 2 of a set of 4 Multicultural Velour Soft Babies from Discount School Supply
  • Pat-a-cake by Annie Kubler: 9781846433382
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler: 9780859537285

Monday, March 14, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Hey Diddle Diddle

This includes an indestructible - book made out of non-rip, non-chew, paper-like substance and a glove puppet. Frankly, it's a little worn and creepy, but I think it will last a little longer...

Sources for materials

  • Hey Diddle Diddle glove puppet was originally from Folkmanis, but is long unavailable.
  • Hey Diddle Diddle by Jonas Sickler: 9780761158622

Monday, March 7, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Under the Ocean

This bag includes 2 paperback books, 3 small puppets, and 5 textured sensory toys. Technically, there's a giraffe and a hedgehog, but since they're weird colors and shapes they could be anything under the ocean.

Sources for materials:

  • Over in the ocean in a coral reef by Marianne Berkes: 9781584690627
  • Herman the helper by Robert Kraus: 9780671662707
  • Finger jellyfish puppet, giant clam, and manta ray are all from Folkmanis but are no longer available.
  • Infantino Sensory Pals baby toy set is available on Amazon

Monday, February 29, 2016

Read 'n' Play: I went walking

This is a set of a puppet, six finger puppets, and a paperback book. They're made by Kaplan, but you can purchase the puppet set from Amazon.

Insert in Publisher format can be found here