Storytime: Camping

It is the most wonderful time of the year… to go camping. This crisp November weather had me in the mood to do a storytime all about camping. Here are the books we read:

First, we read Maisy Goes Camping by Lucy Cousins. They thought it was hilarious how they all could not fit in the tent and only the elephant got to sleep in there. Simple illustrations and perfect for reading aloud. Next, we read Scare a Bear by Kathy-Jo Wargin. The rhyming in the book was perfect for reading to the kiddos. Last, we read Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal. I kept wanting to say Into the Woods! This book was slower paced and the illustrations were calming. I wish I had placed this book in the middle because of its slower pace. The children were pretty distracted by the end of this book.


For our craft we made binoculars. This was a very simple craft that allowed for a lot of creativity from the kids. After I made my sample, I decided to paint them so they didn’t look so shabby. I prepped the base of the binoculars by cutting paper towel cardboard in half and gluing/taping them together. I painted them red and blue and punched two holes for the string to go through.

I provided glitter glue, washi tape, and stickers for the kids to decorate with. They loved it and were walking around the shop looking through their decorated binoculars. Here is a pair that one of my four year olds made:


If I had more time, I would have done some more interactive portions of the storytime like a fake fire to roast marshmallows over. Still, the kids had a great time and talked about their experiences hiking and camping. We live in east Tennessee, so it’s a way of life 🙂


TASL Conference 2016

This year I had the privilege to attend the Tennessee Association of School Librarians 2016 Conference in Murfreesboro, TN. There were several sessions to choose from and many wonderful guest speakers and authors. I attended:

Yes, You Can Use Augmented Reality in Your Library! – Elissa Malespina

Search SWAG: Making Learning “Library” Fun – Jeanine Akers & Cathy Evans

Keynote, Let Them Be Heard: Giving Our Students a Voice – Shannon McClintock Miller

Choose Your Own Speech with Alan Gratz – Alan Gratz

Strong Girl Characters in a Contemporary World: The Importance of Choosing Books with Real People – S.R. Johannes

The Librarian’s First Year Survival Kit: Tips and Tricks – Kimberly Kelton & Tia Tate

Keynote, Creating Creepy Carrots with Aaron Reynolds – Aaron Reynolds

5 Star Visuals: Increase Visual Literacy Skills across the Curriculum – Alice Bryant & Pam Renfrow

Ditching Dewey: Genrefication in Your Library – Tiffany Whitehead

All of these sessions were wonderful and provided some insight into what to expect when I become a school librarian, advice on tools to use, and some authors to keep in mind. The conference was from Thursday evening to noon Saturday. I didn’t know a soul! But the thing about librarians is they are naturally friendly people 🙂

I had two books signed, Prisoner B-3087 by middle grade author Alan Gratz and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. They were both winners of Volunteer State Book Awards this year. Fabulous people and wonderful authors. Here I am cheesing:

I hope I can continue to go in future years. I learned a ton, got some swag, and met some amazing people. Check out TASL’s website at If you are a TASL member, you can check out the supplemental materials here.