Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Easy Puppetry From the Shadows

So, coming up this Friday I’m going to be in Ocala for the 2023 TBLC KidsLit MiniCon. For the first time, I’m doing a workshop all about shadow puppetry. Of course, it’s made easy! Moreover, I’m bringing my own brand of shadow puppetry, one that combines many styles and forms of this ancient art. Taking your show on the electronic highway Shadow puppetry enjoys a history that stretches back to time immemorial. Today, we have theability to create, share and present wonderful shadow puppets and entire shows utilizing 3-D printingmethods in person and online. Shadow puppet creation used to take hours of painstaking work withscissors and exacto knives and result in workable but fragile products. The average professional handpuppet today costs upward of $30, while a 3-D printed shadow puppet costs pennies. Here are two (2) I’ve printed: Since most shadow puppet screens/theaters are big rectangles, just zoom in on…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

All Together Now 2023 SRP

But It’s Still Winter… Believe it or not, this is my 20th year working – as a paid employee – in Central Florida libraries. If you include volunteering…well…that’d be most of my life. From all I’ve ever experienced, you can never be fully or overly prepared for a season of summer reading programming. As a matter of fact, I am known for ALWAYS having a backup plan for each program, right down to duplicates of mission critical equipment. Sounds like a military operation, doesn’t it? So, yes, it’s January and we are talkin’ All Together Now, our 2023 Summer Reading Program! Nitty Gritty, Nuts and Bolts I always love a tool kit, a place I can have everything in one spot, like a Swiss Army knife. I’m based in Florida, but this seems to have universal appeal: CSLP 2023 Program Resources 2023 Summer Program (and beyond) Resources: Overview of popular…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Planning for SRP 2023 STEMming Summer Slide

Summer slide. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it is still a thing. Ideally, addressing summer slide should be a part of your annual goals or tasks, much like summer reading or Banned Books Week. Even more ideal, if there is such a thing, is partnering with schools and other local agencies. First, though, as my old college professor used to say, we can’t discuss a topic without defining it first. So, here we go. What is summer slide and why should I care? Summer slide, and I think Colorado Dept of Education puts it best is: (T)he tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of theachievement gains they made during the previous school year. Why you should care Summer slide can affect almost any child. However, the children it impacts the most are the most socioeconomically disadvantaged. Here’s a thousand words…

Blogger Liza Purdy

The Right Book in the Right Hand at the Right Time

I am writing this blog post on the night before I return to work from bereavement leave. My dad was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme in late February. I once heard GBM referred to as the “great white shark” of brain cancer because of its relentless rate of growth and spread, and the lack of effective treatment. My parents moved in with my family right after Dad received the diagnosis; we put their house of 53 years on the market, moved their stuff into storage, and buckled up for the wild ride of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy while maintaining our “normal” work, school, church and home duties. Needless to say, it’s been a lot. I don’t know if you all experience this, but when I am particularly stressed out, I sometimes find that I cannot read. I just can’t allow myself to enter into a story. I can’t put my life…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Turning a Picture Book Into a HUGE Program

So, we’re making waves this summer and indeed the possibilities are endless. I mentioned last week that I raised an old favorite from the depths. This week, I want to show you how to stretch out just one picture book into an epic summer reading program: Buccaneer Bunnies, to be precise! Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, by Carolyn Crimi tells the story of Henry, who is the “embarrassing” nerdy son of Blackear, the fiercest bunny to sail the seven seas. In a nutshell, Henry proves that books hold the answers to all manner of situations, outcomes and perils — all without being didactic! But how do you turn a quick read into a 60 minute program?! Well, me old sods, I’ll explain forthwith. It all starts with the book — no, really So, last week, I introduced you to Foghorn Follies, thus, we already have a puppet stage shaped like…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Sailing Into Summer READing 2022

Raising a Sunken Ship Years and years ago when I was a wee volunteer at a public library in Central Florida, I was lucky enough to be a part of a crew that put on a puppet show by the name of “Foghorn Follies“. They brought me on board as a hand in the show. Little did I know, but one day, when I raised anchor and sailed off to become a librarian, I’d once more sound the foghorn and gather unsuspecting audiences for the corniest puppet show this side of the St. John’s River. But first, Atlantis! Years ago, like, 40 of them, there was a Six Flags Great Adventure park in Florida called “Atlantis”. It was here that the Kiddie Kingdom featured a King’s Sandbox and where the Foghorn Follies show was moored. While the show only lasted two seasons, a librarian fell in love with the show,…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Earth Day STEM Day!

Earth Day is April 22nd this year. However, I want to point out that April is also National Humor Month. I am making a large sacrifice here to bring you a post about introducing your youngest library patrons to citizen science instead of something rib tickling, side splitting or otherwise thigh slap worthy. So, here we go. No funny stuff. And just as an aside, please slap only your own thighs as to do otherwise is considered harassment and is actually frowned upon in many workplaces. A Trilogy of Cunning Plans For your consideration, three cunning plans to expose yourself and small children to STEM this Earth Day: Citizen Science, STARnet’s STEAM initiative, SciStarter, and Seed Libraries. For those of you counting along at home, that makes four (4), making this a poorly named overview of what’s to come. Actually, I think there’s five…oh, well. Citizen Science So, what exactly…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

March Activities, News, STEM and More!

words hello march in cursive surrounded by a circle of colorful flowers and foliage

March Activities, News, STEM and More means tons of ideas for March programming and crafting. Plus, enjoy a plethora of bookish news. For STEM/STEAM programming, we have you covered and of course, it’s all the FREE resources you have come to love and count on. Read on, enjoy and let us know what works for you and what crashed and burned! It’s all good! But first: And secondly, I’ve made the editorial decision to pull the Just for YA! portion of this newsletter. If you still want to receive it, just send me an email at jdolce@mylakelibrary.org, or comment below. Thanks! Let’s Celebrate! The first annual Black Children’s Book Week will take place this year, February 27- March 5 Celebrate Black Children’s Book Week February 27th – March 5th! 24 Black Heroes Our Kids Should Know By Name March is… Plan your event with resources on Our Planet: Earth Celebrate National Library Week April 3…