Do-It-Yourself Program Ideas: “Origami Yoda” Series by Tom Angleberger

Origami YodaDo-It-Yourself Program Ideas – “Origami Yoda”

A book party celebrating Tom Angleberger’s “Origami Yoda” series would be good for any library at any time of year. Set-up several crafts and games in your meeting room or library patio, with at least two high school volunteers at each station. Be sure to have water and fruit slices (watermelon and oranges) available for a snack, especially if it is a warm day.

Icebreaker activity: Dress in your “Star Wars” costume and read a few short “Star Wars” picture books. For example:

  • Brown, Jeffrey. Darth Vader and Son. Chronicle Books, 2012.
  • Brown, Jeffrey. Goodnight Darth Vader. Chronicle Books, 2014.
  • Brown, Jeffrey. Vader’s Little Princess. Chronicle Books, 2013.

Display: Offer some of the read-alikes of the “Origami Yoda” series suggested in our Read-Alikes section.


Make “Star Wars” origami figures using the instructions from the publisher of the “Origami Yoda” series:

Make Star Wars Rock Buddies or other crafts seen here: .

Make any of the activities from the author’s blog: .

Make journals:

Games and Activities:

Set up an online gaming area, using the free online games at the official “Star Wars” website: .

Destroy Darth Vader: Print out pictures of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, or other villains, and tape to large empty two-liter soda bottles that contain approximately one inch of sand. The sand will help weigh the bottles down. Give player three bean bags, and see if player can knock over one of the bottles to win a prize.

Pin the Light Saber on Yoda: Like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” this has wide age appeal. Print out a large picture of Yoda. Make simple construction paper light sabers for each player. Let each blindfolded player tape their light saber onto Yoda – the winner is the one who gets the saber closest to Yoda’s hand.

Feed Jabba the Hut: Make a stand-up cardboard figure of Jabba the Hut, with a hole where his mouth should be. Give player three bean bags; if player can get a bean bag into Jabba’s mouth, he or she wins a prize.

Give out small consolation prizes at all games.

Penny Peck,  SJSU iSchool

Posted in Programming Ideas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Pop-up and Flap Books

count with maisyCousins, Lucy. Count with Maisy, Cheep! Cheep! Cheep! Candlewick, 2015. [28p.]. $15.99. 978-0-7636-7643-8.

Maisy the little white mouse works on the farm in this simple but effective counting story. While Maisy looks for the ten little chicks, children can guess the other farm animals shown behind the various flaps. These flaps are shown as gates, tractor doors, trees, patches of vegetables, and other logical farmyard items. The color cartoon illustrations on white backgrounds will make it easy for toddlers to find and name the animals and to count the chicks.

There are several key elements that make this a success. Each number is depicted by the numeral in a distinctive color, so it is easy to separate from the text in black. Also, the numerals are repeated every time Maisy finds a new chick to add to the group. There is also the “cluck” and “cheep” of the chickens, which listeners can repeat, making this an engaging read-aloud. The text reinforces learning with repetition and elements that listeners can successfully predict.

The flaps are relatively secure, similar in format to Eric Hill’s “Spot” series, so this should hold up to library circulation. Some larger libraries may wish to purchase copies just to use at storytime, since farm animals are a popular theme.

Iriyama, Satoshi. Good Night, Chirp! HMH, 2004/2015. [32p.]. $8.99. Goodnight Chirp978-0-544-35994-9.

Iriyama, Satoshi. Happy Spring, Chirp! HMH, 2005/2015. [28p.]. $8.99. 978-0-544-36150-8.

From the outside, these two small volumes could be mistaken for board books, but on closer examination these are books with flap pages and a few small pop-up elements. These are sturdy, and should hold up to library circulation, and are likely to be popular. Originally published in Japan, these were skillfully translated, with a brief text that includes some repetition to engage the audience.

Each book stars a small yellow chick named Chirp. The color illustrations on white backgrounds have an airbrushed, or soft-focus appearance that resemble greeting card artwork, and suit the stories. In both stories, Chirp is assisted by other animals in finding what he is searching for, and to find his way home.

The various animals shown include both farm animals and forest animals, including a bear cub who helps Chirp find a gift for Auntie Duck. Both stories are sweet and peaceful, with just a small amount of tension, making these appropriate for those under age two. Although small in size, these could work for a baby storytime if the group is not too big.

Welcome to the neighborhoodSheehy, Shawn. Welcome to the Neighborwood. Candlewick, 2015. [16p.]. $29.99. 978-0-7636-6594-4.

Seven animal builders are celebrated in this elaborate pop-up book that can be used as an informational resource in units on nature and the environment, especially the “wood” of the title. The lovely full-color illustrations are constructed out of cut paper collages, using handmade papers.

Each spread features a large pop-up animal and the item it builds, including nests, webs, hives, and dams. The final spread shows all seven of the animals, which are all members of the forest or “woods” biome. The seven are land snail, hummingbird, garden spider, honeybee, potter wasp, beaver, and stickleback (fish). Each page has a brief sentence describing the animal’s actual size; for example, the hummingbird is as long as a crayon, or the spider is about the size of a paperclip.

There is just one paragraph per page, but overall, the book will lead readers to search for more information on those animals. Although the book is useful, it is unlikely that these dramatic pop-ups will stand up to library circulation. This book is better suited to use in a classroom, or for noncirculating collections.

Penny Peck,  SJSU iSchool

Posted in Out of the Ordinary | Tagged | Leave a comment

Review of the Week: My Bike by Byron Barton

my bikeBarton, Byron. My Bike. Byron Barton, Illus. Picture Book. Greenwillow, 04/2015. [34]p. $16.99. 978-0-06-233699-6. OUTSTANDING. GRADES TOD-PRE.

Tom rides his bike to work, past cars, trucks, and even monkeys and elephants, before donning clown makeup to ride a unicycle in the circus. With a toddler-friendly style and a straightforward storytelling structure similar to his previous books, My Car (2001) and My Bus (2014), Barton uses few words, bright colors, and bold images to tell this transportation-themed story. His impressively simple digital illustrations show faces without fussy details—the dot eyes and line mouths are just enough to make it easy to recognize expressions. Barton fills each page of the book with bold, appealing images that invite preschoolers to interact with and identify what they see: crowds of diverse people, roads full of cars and buses, and the parts of a bicycle. The large font, short sentence structure, clear images, and wonderfully fun subject make this an ideal storytime choice.

Lauren Snell, Mill Valley Public Library

Posted in Review of the Week | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New July BayNews Available

Origami YodaNew ACL BayNews Posted: The July 2015 BayNews (the newsletter for the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California) is now available on our website: . You will find reviews on new Pop-up books, Readalikes for Tom Angleberger’s bestselling “Origami Yoda” series, an outline for an “Origami Yoda” Do-It-Yourself Program, new storytime themes on Chickens and Imaginary Friends, and much more. Thanks! Penny Peck

Posted in Message from ACL, Programming Ideas | Tagged | Leave a comment

Intern Needed for Children’s Fairyland

FairylandSan Jose State Univ. iSchool Student Needed for Internship at Children’s Fairyland:

Oakland Public Library, Children’s Services,
125 14th Street, Room 6,  Oakland, CA  94612

JOB TITLE: Fairyland Librarian

JOB DESCRIPTION:  Children’s Fairyland is a storybook theme park on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. Since 1950, Fairyland has been encouraging early literacy and imaginative play. The internship position represents a partnership between Fairyland and the Oakland Public Library. Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children’s Services at the Oakland Public Library, will provide professional guidance for the intern’s work.

Projects will include managing the book collection in Alice’s Reading Room, and creating a communication plan and content for early learning tips for families attending Fairyland, through both print and social media.


TASK TYPE: Non-Archival


QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of children’s collection management and early literacy practices; and an interest in public library partnerships.

SEMESTER(S): Fall 2015
HOURS: To be determined by intern and Fairyland

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please submit a statement of interest and resume to Nina Lindsay at Applicants may be contacted for an interview with Fairyland staff

CONTACT: Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian, Children’s Services
PHONE 1: 5102386706
PHONE 2: 5102386706
FAX: 510-238-6865

Posted in News, Professional Development | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Review of the Week: High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs

high tide for horseshoe crabsSchnell, Lisa Kahn. High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs. Alan Marks, Illus. Nonfiction.  Charlesbridge, 04/2015. [32]p. $16.95. 978-1-58089-604-7. OUTSTANDING. GRADES K-3

Each spring, Delaware Bay teems with life as millions of horseshoe crabs come ashore to mate and lay eggs, thousands of migrating shorebirds descend to gorge on the nutrient rich spawn, and hoards of human visitors arrive to observe and record the frenzied scene. The author uses bold headings (They’re laying./ They’re landing./ They’re tagging.) to build excitement and introduce simple yet informative paragraphs about the various life forms on the bay. For example, “Bony and weak, the migrating shorebirds arrive in Delaware Bay. They are hungry. Very, very hungry.” Soft pastel watercolor-and-pencil illustrations complement and enhance the text; readers will be drawn to the one young girl on the beach assisting with the scientific survey. Front and back endpapers offer labeled anatomical drawings of the “humble horseshoe crab,” a creature that is not a crab at all but, instead, shares a family tree connection with scorpions, spiders, and ticks. Endnotes offer an extra layer: more facts about the horseshoe crab, resources for further investigation, a bibliography, and a map. Highly recommended for budding naturalists and elementary educators teaching about coastal ecosystems.

Jenny Andrus, Live Oak School

Posted in Review of the Week | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Read-Alikes: “Origami Yoda” series by Tom Angleberger

Origami YodaREAD-ALIKES – “Origami Yoda” series by Tom Angleberger

Baker, Kim. Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School.

Brown, Jeffrey. “Star Wars Academy” series.

Castle, M.E. Popular Clone: The Clone Chronicles.

Emerson, Marcus. Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja.

Griffiths, Andy. The 13 Story Treehouse.

Ignatow, Amy. “Popularity Papers” series.

Korman, Gordon. The 6th Grade Nickname Game.

Palacio, R.J. Wonder.

Pastis, Stephan. “Timmy Failure” series.

Patterson, James. House of Robots.

Peirce, Lincoln. “Big Nate” series.

Russell, Rachel. “Dork Diaries” series.

Scieszka, Jon. “Spaceheadz” series.

Silberberg, Alan. Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze.

Vail, Rachel. “Justin Case” series.

Vega, Denise. Click Here (To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade).

Yee, Lisa. Warp Speed.

Penny Peck, SJSU iSchool

Posted in Read-alikes | Tagged , | Leave a comment