Thursday, October 12, 2023

Blog Tour: A Dare and A Prayer

 It's my day to celebrate Julie Lessman's newest book - A Dare and A Prayer! 🥳  

 A Dare and A Prayer is the third title in Julie's The Cousins O'Connor series. The main character is Henry Dennehy - the incorrigible twin brother of Hope Dennehy (Charity and Mitch's son). 💙
The rich (deep love and connection, not monies) family Julie brought to life is my favorite. This is one of the top reasons I adore her stories. Yes, you hear Henry's story (Yay, yay, yay!), but you also hear more about his family. I love the O'Connors and the world building in the amazing saga. Feel free to read this as a standalone, but I would highly encourage you to start at the beginning. 😉😁 Full series listing on her website.
Back to more on Henry!

He’s a hotshot who takes up a dare.

She’s an aspiring missionary who wants to beware.

But will love become a gamble with a dare and a prayer?

Lieutenant Henry Dennehy is a cocky and carefree fighter pilot in the Pacific Theatre of WW2, known for scoring big, both in the sky and on land. But when his buddies offer a bet he can’t refuse to turn the head of the “untouchable” nurse at 369th Station Hospital—a woman who’s shot down more flyboys than the enemy—he’s bound and determined to win. Problem is, if he wins the dare, will he lose at love?

Lieutenant Amy Leigh MacArthur was on her way to the mission field when she detoured to fight for her country instead, an Army nurse whose interest lies only in healing the wounded and teaching orphans to read. Certainly not in men, and definitely not in Henry Dennehy, the boy who ridiculed her years ago as a shy and homely teen. But when Henry pursues her and won’t take no for an answer, Amy finds a way that gives him no choice.

Until, that is, love does the same for them both ...

NOTE: This book is sweet inspirational with a higher level of romantic passion. Julie's books are "Passion with a Purpose." 💗

From Julie:

"MY TAGLINE IS “PASSION WITH A PURPOSE," which means my novels are a wee bit more passionate, both spiritually and romantically, chock-full of spiritual lessons I have learned--the hard way--throughout my own life. Especially A DARE AND A PRAYER, my newest that just released yesterday because the hero--Henry Dennehy, a lovable rogue with a big heart--has some tough life lessons of his own to learn."






Here's the Full Tour for A Dare and A Prayer:

Visit each blog and leave a comment for a change to win a prize!

October 1 — Radiant Light Blog (tease)

October 1 — LiteraryScape Book Club

October 2 — Grace Johnson Spotlight

October 3 — Britt Reads Fiction

October 4 — Where Faith and Books Meet

October 5 — A Baker’s Perspective

October 6 — My Favorite Pastime

October 7 — Reading is My SuperPower

October 8 — Writing Between the Lines

October 9 — Locks, Hooks, and Books

October 10 — Splashes of Joy

October 10 — Saraina Whitney Blog

October 11 — Radiant Light Blog (review) 

October 12 — Miss Pippi Reads Blog YOU ARE HERE! 😁

October 13 — Christian Bookaholic

October 14 — Grace Johnson Review

October 15 — Scraps of Life Blog




AND 👇👇👇👇👇 



In honor of A Dare and a Prayer’s book birthday, Julie has two contests going on where you can win the following:

GRAND PRIZE (2 chances to win!):

—$50 Amazon gift card or $25 Amazon gift card

—Choice of three of Julie’s e-books or one of her signed paperbacks

—A character named after you or a loved one in her next book and a signed paperback copy

—Your choice of one paperback from Julie’s list of top-selling CBA authors, including Tamera Alexander, Colleen Coble, Rachel Hauck, Denise Hunter, Robin Lee Hatcher, Nancy Naigle, Cara Putman, Deborah Raney, Katherine Reay, Becky Wade, and Beth Vogt.

RUNNERS-UP PRIZES (8 chances to win!):

—Choice of three of my e-books

—OR choice of one of my signed paperbacks (based on my private stash)

—OR choice of one paperback from a list of the above-mentioned top CBA authors (based on my private stash)

So, check all the details out at her Journal Jots Blog HERE and GOOD LUCK!



Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Fall: Pirate Storytime

 When storytime day falls on Talk Like a Pirate Day, you have to share pirate stories! I tried to use new books instead of my usual standards and according to my GoodReads shelves, it was a success.

Here's how we celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day at family storytime this year ...

Good morning! Let's count down from 7 and do that again ... 7-6-5-4-3-2-1-GoodMorning!!
SONG: Hello Song
Storytime Reminders: Be Ready, Be Seated, Be Involved, Be Respectful
Flannel: Bookworm, bookworm where should we look? Are you behind the COLOR book?
Behind the books: one bookworm and four clipart pirates in different colors ... that happened to match the book they were underneath 
BOOK: Sea Sheep by Eric Seltzer, illustrated by Tom Disbury (Ready-to-Read Simon Spotlight, 2020)
SONG: The Ocean Song
Oh the ocean is great and the ocean is grand.
There are lots of tall ships and very little land.
And we sleep down deep in a hammock near the floor
And this is what we do when we go out the door:
We ride the waves going up, we ride the waves going down
We ride the waves going up, we ride the waves going down
We ride the waves going up, we ride the waves going down
And we turn around.
This is a fun song and we did it multiple times in a row. I did start each time with a "warm-up" - shake your arms, shake your legs, practice turn around, and a deep breath. The different speeds were learning speed, a little faster, very slow, and super fast.
After we sat down we did a "cool down", little hand shake, little foot shake, spin your hands around each other, and two deep breaths.
BOOK: Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw, illustrated by Margot Apple (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1989)
SONG: Goldfish Song by Laurie Berkner
This is a storytime classic and a lot of fun. A song that you can follow the lyrics to for movement - swim, sleep, shower, brush teeth, and ride bikes. 

BOOK: What Pirates Really Do by Melanie Joyce, illustrated by Alex Paterson (Little Bee Books, 2015)
SONG: Pirates Zoom!
Zoom, zoom, zoom We’re hunting for doubloons
Zoom, zoom, zoom We’re hunting for doubloons
If you want to take a trip
Climb aboard my pirate ship and
Zoom, zoom, zoom We’re hunting for doubloons
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… AHOY!
 Since we did Zoom, Zoom, Zoom last week, this was a fun addition this week. We did it a couple times before finishing storytime and moving onto our last three "activities".
1 - Announcements
2 - Craft Instructions: pirate maps with watercolor then crumple it up to keep in your pocket
3 - SONG: Goodbye So Long Farewell Toodle-oo by Hap Palmer

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Fall: Light Storytime

Today kicked off the Fall season of my family storytime series. We focused on light today - sun, moon, stars, lights outside and inside. 

Welcome to storytime at the library. My name is Miss Pippi and I'm so glad you're here!
SONG: Hello Song
Storytime Reminders: Be Ready, Be Seated, Be Involved, Be Respectful
Snowbie, our storytime puppet friends
Flannel: Bookworm, Bookworm, we'll find you soon! Are you behind the (color) Moon?
Three fireflies, one star, one bookworm - ASL for the colors (green, white, yellow, purple, blue)
BOOK: Living Things Need Light by Karen Aleo (Little Pebble [Capstone], 2020) 
FINGERPLAY: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
American Sign Language: twinkle, stars, world, diamond (shape)
BOOK: Night Lights by Susan Gal (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)
Two Little Fireflies from
Two little fireflies land on my hand
One named Sally. One named Sam.
Lights ON Sally! Lights ON Sam!
Lights off Sally. Lights off Sam.

Fingerplay: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Zoom, zoom, zoom We're going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom We're going to the moon.
Climb aboard my rocketship, we will take a little trip.
Zoom, zoom, zoom We're going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Blast off!
            Far, far, far, we're going to the stars (x 2)
            Fun, fun, fun, we’re going to the sun (x 2) 
BOOK: When the Sky Glows by Nell Cross Beckerman, illustrated by David Litchfield (Beach Lane Books, 2022)
"The sky glows" is a repeated phrase in the book and I invited everyone to say it with me (with a sweeping hand gesture). A beautiful book but I could feel the autdience getting antsy so this was the last readaloud today.
SONG: Rocketship Run by Laurie Berkner
BOOK: Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Khoa Le (Millbrook Press, 2020) We didn't read this one today, but it's an excellent light book that covers indoor and outdoor lights with minimal text.
Craft Instructions: Construction Paper Suns - process over product
SONG: Goodbye So-Long Farewell Toodle-oo by Hap Palmer

This was a fun session of storytime. We did sign moon, stars, and sun throughout storytime. I did share the sign for light as well. My resource for ASL is

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Summer: Star Wars Storytime

Our final summer storytime featured Star Wars. I think this one had the strongest theme focused books. Star Wars also has the most books to choose from when finding themed shareable stories.

Here's the agenda:

SONG: The Hello Song
Storytime Reminders
Flannel: Bookworm, Bookworm, where should we look? Are you behind the COLOR book?
Behind the books - shooting star, star, comet, bookworm with a moon, and bookworm with a star. I've never had two little flannels under one book so that was surprising for every one. I think they were rather taken aback! 

BOOK: Star Wars Blast Off! By DK READERS: Pre-Level 1
SONG: The Tempo Marches On by Jim Gill
A classic kid's marching song that gets faster and faster. After the song, we wiggled out our legs because they worked hard! Started with toes, feet, knees, leg one, leg two, both legs, a couple deep breathes. It's good to cool down after an intense song or activity.
BOOK: What is a Droid? DK READERS: Level 1

SONG: Put On My Walkin’ Shoes by Miss Carole
 Another fantastic walking/marching song for kids. This one has different movements - walk, stomp, run, tiptoe, backwards, walk. After this song, we did some arm stretches/movement because we worked our legs, so we should move our arms, too.

BOOK: A Jedi You Will Be by Preeti Chhibbler, illustrated by Mike Deas
 This book is fun! Yet language tricky because some of the turns of phrase are in the Yoda reversal style. I did highlight breathing deep, using your strength (show me your muscles), and pretending to use the force (because we lifted out the ship from the swamp with Yoda & Luke).  

SONG: Rocketship Run by Laurie Berkner
 We can't talk space without doing Rocketship Run! The refrain is fast and fun with the countdown. The verses are slower with movement as well - spinning suns, dancing moons, jumping stars, and sitting down in your own hometown. For the first time, I felt that I got the countdown correct every time with my fingers. It's fast for adults, so it's super fast for kiddos ... but they love it.

Activity Instructions: Star Wars Vehicles Scavenger Hunt
SONG: Goodbye Song

The end of a storytime session is always so bittersweet. I love spending time reading, dancing, flanneling, signing, and singing with my families. Some families will return for Fall storytime, while others will be attending their schools. I want to stay and keep moving along, but I also know that my brain and body need a breather. I need to clean up my Summer desk and get ready for the new season. My brain needs to log all the events of the past season then create new adventures for Fall. Rest and rejuvenate are important. I'll be back next mont!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Chiefs Storytime

The library hosted a storytime special with the fire chief and the police chief. After a mini storytime, we walked over to the station and got a tour!

Welcome: Good morning! Let's do a countdown from 6 today - 6,5,4,3,2,1 - Good morning!!
SONG: Hello Song
Storytime Reminders
Flannel: Bookworm, Bookworm where should we look? Are you behind the COLOR book?
Behind the books: police logo, fire logo, flannel rescue vehicle, flannel ladder truck, and one bookworm
BOOK: Here Come the Helpers by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Barbara Bakos (Little Simon, 2018)
Introduce Police Chief 
BOOK: How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague (The Blue Sky Press [Scholastic], 2015)
SONG: It Takes Some Friends by Jim Gill

Introduce Fire Chief 
BOOK: A Visit to the Fire Station by Rosalyn Clark (Lerner, 2018)
Announcements: Storytime TUES / Pool TH / Summer Reading
Activity Instructions: Paw Patrol Seek’n’Find in CS / Tour the Police & Fire Station
SONG: Goodbye
Exit and walk next door

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Summer Storytime Series

 Ah, Summer!

The library is hopping and moving and hosting a larger group of people. We're also seeing a wider range of ages during Family Storytime. During the school year, the range is between birth and 4 years with maybe a Kindergartener. While the Summer brings older siblings who could be in various elementary grades.

With an older group in mind, I went with some pop culture themes for Summer. We're getting geeky at the library! It's a new challenge to blend classic storytime elements together with movie or videogame themes. It will be fun!

Themes this Summer include ...

Super Mario

Sonic the Hedgehog


Jurassic Park aka Dinosaurs


Star Wars

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Storytime: Preschool Planters & Seeds

Week two of our Preschool Planters mini storytime session. This week we focused on seeds. I was hoping for A Seed is Sleepy to be available, but it was not. That nonfiction series written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long is just so delightful. I used another nonfiction book and it worked out great!

Here's our storytime agenda:

SONG: Can’t Wait to Celebrate by Jim Gill
Storytime Reminders
Flannel: Bookworm, Bookworm, where should we look?
Behind the books ... two bookworm and three popcorn kernels (aka seeds).
Morning has come (clap, clap)
Night is away (clap, clap)
Rise with the sun and welcome the day!
Last week we learned sun and day. This week we added the ASL work for morning. We sang this one twice through with patrons invited to join in whenever they felt comfortable.

BOOK: Seeds by Marissa Kirkman (Pebble [Little Capstone], 2020)

After talking about seeds, we need a garden. Sometimes people build their own gardens. They need to use a hammer, or a saw or sandpaper. Let's build a garden with one of our favorite tool songs:
SONG: Hammer and Saw by Jim Gill

BOOK: Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat by April Pulley Sayre (Beach Lane Books, 2013)
This foodie trio of books is so much fun! And this book fit the theme perfect!

It led well into a surprise flannel with our "seeds" on the board. The seeds are popcorn kernels.
We counted down with our fingers, shook our bodies during sizzling, and clapped our hands at POP!
I slapped a flannel popcorn piece on top of the kernel when they clapped. I don't know who was more excited for this little rhyme - me or the audience.

Three little kernels sizzling in the pot, All of a sudden, one went POP!
     TWO little kernels sizzling in the pot, All of a sudden, one went POP!
          ONE little kernel sizzling in the pot, All of a sudden, one went POP!
After counting down from three to one, let's count more! Our song goes from one to five. (It actually mentions 6, 8, 10 as well but I didn't remember or bring that up during our transition.) We did a little finger wiggling and arm stretching, then hid our hands behind our backs while I started the music.

SONG: One from the Left by Jim Gill

BOOK: How Does a Seed Grow? By Sue Kim, photos by Tilde (Little Simon, 2010)
This particular book is a staff book because it is a "toy book". The pages foldout as you read the book to show photographs of how plants get roots and sprouts, then shows a kiddo holding that vegetable or fruit. When we read about the roots, I stretch my free hand down. When we read about the sprouts, I stretch my free hand up.

Fingerplay: Little Seed
Little seed in the ground             [Crouch down on the floor, hands covering heads.]
Sitting so still                                  [Stay crouching.]
Little seed, will you sprout?
Yes, I will!                                [Jump up!]

Craft Instructions: planting seeds indoors
1 cup (peat pot)
+ dirt chunk (aka expanded peat pellet)
+ a pinch of little seeds (Bee Friendly Mix Wildflower Seeds)
+ a pinch of bigger seeds (Sunshine Variety Mix Sunflower Seeds)
SONG: Goodbye Rap by Miss Carole x 2

I always play this rap twice because it's so short and fun. 

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Storytime: Preschool Planters & Green

Preschool Planters is a mini storytime session I inherited and done for many years. It's something I look forward to every Spring. The theme for this year's week one was green for Spring and growing things. This was a day I walked in feeling like I had everything all lined up and ... I didn't. I forgot to cue a song on my playlist and forgot two slides for the storytime screen. It all worked out and the adults got a little chuckle when I said, "I guess it's not a ready day for me today!"

Here's our storytime agenda:

SONG: Can’t Wait to Celebrate by Jim Gill
Storytime Reminders
Flannel: Bookworm, Bookworm, where should we look?
Behind the books was one bookworm, an avocado, a kiwi, greenbeans, and a green bell pepper.
Morning has come (clap, clap)
Night is away (clap, clap)
Rise with the sun and welcome the day!
We learned the ASL word for sun and day. Next week we'll add another sign.

BOOK:   How’s the Weather in Spring? By Jenna Lee Gleisner (Cherry Lake Pub, 2014)
Fingerplay: What the Robin Told 
The wind told the grasses, 
And the grasses told the trees. 
The trees told the flowers, 
And the flowers told the bees. 
The bees told the robin, (bird sign)
And the robin sang out clear, 
Wake up! Wake up! Spring is here.” 
This is the slide I didn't have ... but that's okay since it's a familiar one to me and I have my agenda printed out in case I get lost. This is one we did together with ASL words. I really enjoy this Spring poem.
BOOK:   Green on Green by Dianne White, illustrated by Felicita Sala (Beach Lane Books, 2020)
While reading this book, it can be fairly easy to add ASL color words as you go.

SONG: Green Grass Grew All Around by Greg & Steve
BOOK: A Green, Green Garden by Mercer Mayer (Harper, 2011)
Fingerplay: Five Fat Peas
Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest
They grew and they grew and they did not stop
Until one day the pod went POP!
Flannel: Pea Soup
One little pea jumped into the pot and waited for the soup to get hot
Two little peas jumped into the pot and waited for the soup to get hot
Three little peas jumped into the pot and waited for the soup to get hot
Four little peas jumped into the pot and waited for the soup to get hot
Five little peas jumped into the pot and waited for the soup to get hot
Finally, the soup got so hot, all the peas jumped out of the pot!
We also added ASL words to this rhyme as well - counting 1-5, jumping, waiting, & hot.
Craft Instructions: brown construction paper that they colored with crayons to make gardens
SONG: Goodbye Rap by Miss Carole
I always play this rap twice because it's so short and fun.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Storytime: Library Week 2023

 Today, I shared a Family Storytime Special to celebrate National Library Week! 🎉

It was not quite a ready day for this librarian, but that is okay. We talk about having a ready day at storytime. I told myself to slow down, take your time if you need it. If you need to change things up, it is okay to change things. The audience supports you. And it went well! A large turnout to celebrate library week at storytime.

In past years, I selected library books, rhymes, or songs, but for today I went with some favorites and new books. Our craft project after storytime was drawing a bookshelf and gluesticking small bookcover pictures to the shelves. It was really cute. To bring it full circle, the bookcovers I selected were books we read at storytime over the past year or so. Shoutout to GoodReads for having a grid layout!

Here's what we did at storytime today:

SONG: Hello Song
Storytime Reminders: Be Ready, Be Seated, Be Involved, Be Respectful
Storytime Puppet: Snowbie
FLANNEL: Bookworm, Bookworm, where should we look? Are you behind the COLOR book?
Behind the 5 books: 1 bookworm, Gossie & Gertie, Gerald & Piggie, Clifford, and Skippyjon Jones
BOOK: The Loud Librarian by Jenna Beatrice, illustrated by Erika Lynne Jones (Atheneum, 2023)
I selected this title because it's a new book, it's diverse, and it features quiet and loud spaces in the library. There is room for libraries to be quiet and loud.

SONG: One from the Left by Jim Gill
We started this with stretches to get ready - dancing your fingers up, in front of your face, hide them behind your back and keep them there while I start our music. 

BOOK: Mister Kitty is Lost! By Greg Pizzoli (Little Brown & Co., 2023)

This book is another new book and a lot of fun. It's counting which paired well with One from the Left we just sang together.

The original plan was to do these two singing songs with a couple American Sign Language words, but I was losing my voice. We did a favorite storytime song instead - The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner 
This song we've done a lot and the kiddos are singing along and doing the actions. It's wonderful!

SONG: The More We Read Together (Tune:  The More We Get Together)

The more we read together, together, together.

The more we read together the happier we’ll be.

          For your books are my books. And my books are your books.

          The more we read together the happier we’ll be.

SONG: Read a Book (tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Read, read, read a book, travel anywhere

World-wide, you decide: a book will take you there.

After our dance, we read our next book ... It's an adventure book because I think libraries are full of adventures because they're full of books to read and activities to do.

BOOK: Adventure Awaits by Henry Cole (Little Simon, 2022)

SONG: Rocketship Run! By Laurie Berkner

A favorite action song at storytime - counting down, jumping up, and running in place.
Verses are spinning, dancing, jumping, and coming back to earth (sitting down)


Craft Instructions for Build Your Own Bookshelf (paper craft)

SONG: Goodbye, So-Long, Farewell, Toodle-loo by Hap Palmer

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Books Can Be Let Go

NetGalley shared a great tip this week ... "Take a look at your shelves and let go of books that don't interest you anymore."

I love reading and I love books. I've never tallied my TBR (to be read) stack or lists, but I'm sure it's in the hundreds. I own digital books as well as physical books. I have books that I have yet to read and books I want to read again. Yet there are also books that I might never get around to reading.

That's okay, readers! It's okay to own a book and never read it. It's okay to let go of books or stop reading books that don't peek your interest. There is joy is giving books away. There will be a reader who is thrilled to find that book you no longer want on your shelves.

What should I do with the books I no longer want or need?

- Give them to a family member.

- Give them to a friend.

- Add books to Little Free Libraries.

- Give them to a library (check their donation policy).

- Give them a school or child care center (check their donation policy).

- Donate them to a thrift store.

- Donate them to a nonprofit or charity book sale.

- Sell them at a used bookstore or online and buy more books!

If the books are too much to share ... old information, misinformation, musty, dusty, broken, etc. ... it's okay to recycle or throw away books. I always want to give books new life, but sometimes books have their time and it's time to send them away.

- Recycle

- Trash

- Repurpose

Where you do you take your "old" books?  How do you repurpose books?

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