Jan 12, 2019

Storytime Hack: Small books, big screen

 Today, I wanted to use one of my favorite board books in my Donuts with Dad storytime. This group is usually pretty large (today we ended up with 83), so I knew that I couldn't just hold that tiny book in my hand and expect everyone to see it, so I rigged up a solution that ended up working so well, I thought I'd share it with you. 

I've tried ELMO cameras and overhead projectors, but the lighting is never quite right, but this?  This was simple and worked surprisingly well.

What you need:
--an iPad, iPod or iPhone and just the standard "Camera" app
--an AppleTV (for wireless connection, or cords will work if that's what you usually use to make your iDevice talk to your projector)
--a projector and screen
--some way to prop up your book and iDevice (I used the magnetic bar on the back of my flannel board for the book and a desk organizer I grabbed from my office, but use whatever you have on hand).

Here's a photo of the back side of my set-up:
(The camera is peeking above the top of the desk organizer, aimed at the book)
 And here is what it looks like to my group:
 I just sat beside my flannel board and tucked my hand behind it in order to turn pages as I read.  Everyone was captivated (and everyone could SEE)! 

My only frustration was that with this particular set-up, I spent more time looking back than making eye contact with the group, but maybe that will come with practice?  Has anyone else ever done anything like this?  What other solutions have you come up with?

Jan 11, 2019

My favorite new kids music of 2018

 Here are a few new "kindie" albums that came out in 2018 that I'm pretty excited about.  Maybe you'll like them too?

Got a tween fan of folksy pop music, but maybe you’re not quite yet ready for them to dive into some of the mature themes of many of the songs on the radio today?  Check out Every Voice by Kira Willey.  Full of catchy music and empowering lyrics, this album settles comfortably in that sweet spot between Laurie Berkner (who makes a cameo on this album, actually) and Taylor Swift, with a hint of mindfulness for balance. 

Night Train 57 by Dan Zanes and Friends (subtitle: "a sensory friendly comic folk opera")
Classic Dan Zanes folksy sounds!

Tu eres mi flor by Elizabeth Mitchell and Suni Paz
I love Elizabeth Mitchell so much and this Spanish language album doesn't disappoint.  Folksy, some songs that are translated from her "You are my Flower" album, others are new (maybe traditional Spanish language songs?), all are like honey for your ears (but in the sweet way, not a sticky gross way).

All the Sounds by Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats
A gentle, jazzy mix of Spanish and English.  I love her voice!

Winterland by the Okee Dokee Brothers
If you live in an area that gets snowed in for winter (or maybe if you don't and you wish you did), this album will resonate with you. My favorite on this album is "SlumberJack" (I seriously have to listen to it at least twice in a row and sing along each time), my daughter's favorite is "Howl" because she like to howl along. Love that there's a whole song lamenting how we box snowmen (and snowwomen) into specific genders by the clothes we put on them.

A few albums that I haven't listened to all the way from start to finish yet, but I"m pretty excited about:

Jan 9, 2019

Win a Pillow Play Set from Sago Mini!

Hey everybody!  Have you ever used Madison Public Library's App Recommendation Page?  Or gotten other app advice from me in other ways (App Fairy Podcast, The Supper Club App Storytime, etc.)?  I'm looking to streamline and improve the library's app recommendation services and would love your feedback. 

Please take a moment to complete this survey before January 31, 2019 and you could be entered to win one of these fabulous Sago Mini Pillow Playsets (or other app-related goodies)!

Thanks a bunch!

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