Early Bit Lits

November,  2013
Issue No . 43
KDL Blue
In This Issue
Dinosaur Train
Nursery Nook
Music Minute
Learning with Crafts
Book Review
App Review

All Aboard! Dinosaur Train

A special storytime featuring favorite characters from "Dinosaur Train." Enjoy stories, crafts and activities!


Check the online event calender for a program near you.

Nursery Nook

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa Baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

One for my master

One for my dame

One for the little boy who lives down the lane

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full


This standard rhyme has multiple applications for discovery. It's great for counting but also for discovering wool. Discuss what sheep's wool is used for. Sort different types of wool into three bags for a fun extension of the rhyme. 


-Trish R.

East Grand Rapids Branch

Music Minute

Most young children love to make noise! Think of that happy smile a toddler wears when clapping loudly. Consider the remarkable energy preschoolers will put into stomping their feet or patting out a rhythm. Some of the most amazing fun can be had when children are encouraged to use their bodies to produce rhythms and music.

The recently released I Like Everything About You (Yes, I Do)! by Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble is a rousing collection of classic rhythm songs and unique body beat songs, generated by clapping, stomping and patting. After twenty years of educational outreach, concerts and workshops, Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble's first CD of children's music is an album that the whole family will enjoy! Part drill team, part multicultural rhythm section, this energetic team combines body beats and vocals with the unique sounds of hand drums, bells, bass, banjo, voices and found sound. This CD is being labeled as one of the best albums of the year. Check it out today!


-Sara M. 
Sand Lake Branch

Kent District Library is here to provide you and your child with the skills needed to succeed in school and in life. KDL's Early Lit Bits newsletter is full of FUN and simple activities that will help foster that growth. For more information regarding the skills your child needs before he or she learns to read, visit the Play-Grow-Read section of the KDL website. You can also stop by any KDL branch to speak with one of our helpful youth librarians. We hope to see you soon!

Learning With Crafts

If I had a hammer

Many youngsters struggle with handwriting. In a world full of computers and keyboards, it might no longer seem an important skill for children to learn. Reading and writing, however, are closely linked. Both are ways to represent spoken words and communicate information and tell stories. Children develop an understanding of the purpose and meaning of reading through the act of writing. Developing fine motor skills can go a long way toward helping children become better writers. Here is a fun activity to make at home that will encourage squirmy preschoolers to sit still long enough to exercise their hand muscles. Be sure to supervise this activity with your preschooler and work on a sturdy play surface.



  • an empty egg carton or a large chunk of Styrofoam
  • golf tees 
  • toy hammer or a small wooden mallet



Detach the lid from the egg carton and turn the bottoms of the cups facing up. Have children pound golf tees into the bottoms of the egg cups, or into a piece of Styrofoam. The tees can then be pulled out and hammered in again. Holding the tees, gripping the hammer and pulling the tees out again are all great ways to develop fine motor skills.


Other ideas

Give children a plastic lettuce knife and let them saw a piece of Styrofoam. This is an amazingly fun and messy activity, so have a vacuum on hand to clean up afterwards. Make sure to supervise this activity and clean up any bits of foam that might be choking hazards for smaller children in the house.

-Anjie G.

Walker Branch

Book Review

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown


It is author Peter Brown's opinion that everyone should find time to go a little wild, as does Mr. Tiger in this new picture book. Bored by city life and proper manners, Tiger decides to venture out into the wilderness. Soon the other animals join him and find time to be wild, too. While reading together one-on-one, talk about the different animals in this book and ask your child to identify them. The animals in the book also use some fabulous vocabulary as well. Talk about words that may be unfamiliar such as "peculiar" and "magnificent," and help your child define them. Of course you'll need to practice your very best "roars" as you read together. Talking about words and meanings helps expand your child's vocabulary and is a great way to get ready to read!



-Liz W.  

 Plainfield Branch

App Review

Ahoy Matey! Check out Toontastic Jr. Pirates, an app that allows you to make a story that is all your own. Using various pre-created scenes, users can record their own dialogue and move characters around like puppets. For each story you choose a beginning, middle and end, add music to create tone and give the story a title and author. Deciding these components of a story will help children learn how a story works, which aids in developing reading comprehension, but making the stories is also a ton of fun! Use your imagination, silly voices and humor as you tell "what happens next" in each section. The app also has a mode called StoryShare where you can collaboratively create the story with another user and watch your creation together. Try this app for free on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Unlock all scenes for $2.99. 



-Julie R. 
Caledonia Township Branch