Create and Connect at Your Library

Hi there! I’m here! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind the past few weeks! Moving to Tennessee,  family wedding, new job, first time getting back to work after having a baby… The whole kit and caboodle. There will be catch up time here on the blog in the future, but for now a brief post. I had the absolute pleasure of speaking in Vegas at the ALA Annual Conference with Library as Incubator Project and Jessica Pigza, author of Bibliocraft, for our session about book inspired art programs in the library, Create & Connect @ your library. The fine folks at LAIP and Jessica Pigza are pure gold when it comes to inspiration, and I find them to be such incredible resources. During the session I shared a bit about my Pages to Projects initiative to introduce kids to art through picture books and projects, and I have included the slides from my part during that session here. For those of you who were there, thank you so much for the conversation and kind words. It was wonderful meeting so many fabulous folks! Library people are the best.





Art for Babies

art sensory bag shampoo baby activity

In the midst of the moving madness (we’re move to Chattanooga this weekend!), the girls and I were able to sneak in some art exploration time highlighted in the latest Library as Incubator Project post featuring 3 DIY Art Sensory Bags for babies as well as a fun little art rhyme I wrote paired with famous works of art.

Art Rhyme for Babies

Read the full post here: Art for Babies

Check out the Pages to Projects pinboard, which includes other artsy sensory and/or tactile activities for littles!

It’s never to early to start exploring!

Art Sensory Bag for Todders and Preschool




Review: This Book Was a Tree


This Book Was a Tree

This Book Was a Tree

by Marcie Chambers Cuff

Find it at Your:  Local Library | Local Bookstore

Published: Perigee (imprint of Penguin Group), April 1, 2014

In a Nutshell: This Book Was a Tree: Ideas, Adventures, and Inspiration for Rediscovering the Natural World is science teacher and blogger Marcie Chambers Cuff’s invitation to us all to (re)connect to nature through projects, science, and reflection. When I first started reading this book, I became instantly hooked when I saw phrases such as “explore more”, “think like a scientist”, and “try this”. As someone that works with kids in a public library, this book instantly became a tool of inspiration for future library programming for all-ages. You can find many passive programming prompts for families, as well as ideas for individual programs or even an entire series devoted to connecting with nature through projects and activities. Many of the craft projects such as building a pinhole camera, starting a flower press, or building a bee coop can be achieved by late elementary school-age/middle school-age children and older. Some might need adult supervision or assistance, but many of the projects can also be modified for younger children to complete independently. Activities such as stargazing, exploring, camping in the backyard (even if it’s only for a few hours), agreeing to spend “x” amount of time outside a day, journaling, and collecting can be done with kids as young as preschool-age.  What I love most of all is This Book Was a Tree is that it reminds the reader to revel in the natural world and to take time to be outside, continually exploring it. I truly believe learning about science starts with venturing outside. As Carl Sagan once said, “Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact.” And have I mentioned all the sketches are all the author’s own creations? Take a peek:

This Book Was a Tree

This Book Was a Tree 1

This Book Was a Tree 2

This Book Was a Tree

Think Like a Scientist

This BOok Was a Tree


Visit Marcie on her website HERE

And on her blog HERE

A few book club ideas.

And this video:


Source of Book Reviewed: Review copy provided by the good folks at Penguin.



Every Day is Storytime

Every Day is Storytime Jane Johnston

Exciting news! The best!!

I’m happy to share that my mentor, recently retired children’s librarian Jane Johnston, has started a blog: Every Day is Storytime.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Jane Johnston in person, she is magical. While we worked together, I made it a point to try and absorb every ounce of wisdom she possesses when it comes to early literacy devices and tools, children’s books, and programming. After she retired, I often wondered how all the knowledge she possessed would live on, especially her philosophies, the songs, fingerplays, and stories she created entirely on her own. I was only able to take in a teeny sliver of it during the time I worked with her, which is why I’m beyond thrilled that she has decided to start blogging.  Every Day is Storytime is “dedicated to exploring the fun of finding and appreciating the words and stories tucked into the corners of your family time together”.  Her blog is written with the caregiver audience in mind, but I feel it will also be a rich resource for librarians and early childhood educators.

As her devoted pupil, I hang onto her every word. She is a storyteller, a poet, a children’s literature enthusiast, an advocate for discovery and play, a musician, a wizard, and so, so, so much more. Please join Jane in celebrating storytime every day HERE.



Review: This One Summer

This One Summer


This One Summer

by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Find it at: Your Local Library | Your Local Bookstore

Published: First Second Books (May 6, 2014)

Recommended Reading Age: 12 & up

In a nutshell: I read this book in one sitting. This One Summer is funny and honest and heartbreaking and beautiful.  Every summer, Rose vacations on Awago beach with her parents, as does her spunky summer bud, Windy, with her mother. The two have been palling around each summer since they were little kids, but this summer growing pains start kicking in. Rose’s mother seems to be in a strange funk, and both Windy and Rose become fascinated with a summer romance between two teenage townies.

The Tamaki sisters have captured life as a preteen girl like no other book I’ve ever read…. The unknowns, first crushes, friendship, the endless days.  I have a strong inkling it’ll be a very popular pick among the older middle school and high school kids this summer, but really it’s the perfect read for grown up types too. Rose and Windy are unforgettable and the artwork is…

This One Summer 1

This One Summer 2

This One Summer 3

This One Summer 4


Add it to your must-read list. Ideally, read on a warm summer evening. Lemonade and gummy candies optional.

Extras: Visit Jillian Tamaki’s website and Mariko Tamaki’s blog.

Source of book reviewed: Review copy sent by the lovely people over at First Second Books!