Category Archives: summer reading program

Spuds Party, a Hit!

Hash browns, French fries, tater tots and chips!  Yummy!-  and all made from potatoes.  This Greenie Program  was started in May with the planting of Kennebec potatoes.  It was an early harvest last Saturday when delicate white spuds were lifted out of the soil.

me twoThe program started with two readings, “Up Down and Around” by Katherine Ayres,  got everyone introduced to vegetables and the direction they grow in. Children shared their own stories about vegetables in their home gardens.  None of kids were growing potatoes in their own gardens, so the excitement was building!


potThe second book was “Two Old Potatoes and Me” by John Coy, which was an informal guide to planting potatoes.  A young girl discovers withered and sprouting spuds in the kitchen cupboard and with her father’s guidance they cut up the spuds and plant them. Watering, hilling the dirt, weeding, and watching out for Colorado Potato Beetles, all lead up to potatoe harvest time.  Would we be digging up potatoes in the Community gardens? Or would our spuds be duds?

After the books everyone went to the gardens and a shovel was retrieved from the shed.  Children gathered around the plants…the spade made  a cut in the soil…POTATOES! POTATOES ! POTATOES!  Nature had not disappointed us.  The children were so excited, we just kept digging. We soon filled the bucket one third full with different sized spuds.  The harvest yielded one potato for each child.

The spud party spilled back inside,  where a blind potato chip tasting got under way.  The flavors of the chips were: salt and vinegar, aged cheddar and sour cream, and garden tomato and basil.  The chip voted best flavor was salt and vinegar. Who knew a vegetable could be so much fun?

Posted by Miss Jane

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Digging with Dogs and Trucks

Who loves  to dig up dirt and have lots of fun doing it?  Why construction trucks and dogs, of course!  Our last “Just Dig It” storytime for the summer was about a little backhoe trying to dig out a rock, a construction crew building a neighborhood truck and a bunch of dogs digging in all the wrong places.

A dump truck name Tom, mentors  Digger, diggera little backhoe, in “Digger and Tom” by Sebastien Braun.  Digger attempts to move a rock at the construction site, but realizes it is much bigger than he first thought. Soon the other construction trucks boast that they will move it with no problem, but they can’t, either!  With encouragement from Tom,  Little Digger starts anew to dig the rock out, and he does! Cheers go up for Digger’s accomplishment from the truck crew.

“The Construction Crew” by Lynn Meltzer was a good book with rhyming text that had the children joining in and finishing the sentences.  If the children couldn’t read the rhyming word for the truck, they crew2were able to identify the vehicle from the pictures.  Children also joined in to talk about their neighborhood and some that were moving to another town.


The last book  was “See Me Dig”by Paul Meisel.  This was just a fun book.  A group of dogs first start digging in the “front yard” of some woodland creatures.   The creatures get mad and start to chase the dogs.  The dogs then run far enough away to start digging in some tropical sand where they then open it to unleash pirate ghosts.  Oh boy – do the dogs run now!  This all ties into construction when the group of dogs end up finding a backhoe at a construction site.  Finally a place to dig!

A dump truck with a moveable parts was the craft. Using  brass fasteners, the bed of the truck was attached to the body of the truck. The wheels were glued on with markers rounding  out the craft experience. Children drew in people and other details on their trucks.

Posted by Miss Jane

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Mucky Mud and More!

Getting down and dirty was the theme for the second week of our “Just Dig It” storytimes.  The children were eager to hear the books read based just on the cover illustrations.

The first book read was the classic “Harry the Dirty Dog” by Gene Zion. The dogmain character Harry created a lot of conversation about the children’s own pet dogs and how they get dirty or stay clean.  The kids shared quite a few of their own pet stories!  The story told of a dog who didn’t like to get a bath, so one day he buries the scrubbing brush and runs away, and in the process gets as dirty as he can. Returning home, Harry is unrecognizable to his family.  The one thing that Harry must do is to dig up the scrub brush and jump in the bathtub for his family to know who he is!

“Dirty Gert” by Ted Arnold, had many going OOOOOOO! when the character dirty gertGert decides to eat dirt and ends up liking it!  This rhyming text tells of a young girl’s habit of eating dirt.  One day “when no one  was the wiser”  it becomes more then eating dirt for Gert “it had photosynthesized her”. She grew roots on her feet and leaves in her hair. Soon lawyers, botanists, and movie directors are involved. Things get worst for Gert but that is when her parents step in; knowing to “trim and fertilizer her”.

I think the last book appealed to the boys in the group with its cover of a muddy i'm dirtybackhoe. “I’m Dirty” by Kate and Jim McMullan told the story of a backhoe and what he does in a typical day.  The backhoe counts down from ten all the trash he must move to the dumpster.  But the dirty part for the backhoe is removing a stump and then leveling the dirt.  This was one dirty machine!

Posted by Miss Jane

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Pawsox Prizes for Summer Reading

pawsoxThe Pawsox would like to take you out to the ballgame this summer and are offering every child who finishes our summer reading program a complimentary ticket!  To receive the free ticket, the child must read at least 5 books in our summer reading program.  We’ll then  give you a form to fill out send in to receive the ticket for a special game on August 13th where children who completed the summer reading program will also be honored with a pre-game ceremony and on-field recognition.

The Pawsox are also offering your child a chance to become an All-Star Reader with a chance to win a grand prize trip for four to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  To enter, please pick up the entry provided at the Children’s Desk before August 8th, 2013.

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Visit Your Library for Summer Time Fun!

Frog-lilly-padThe Summer Reading Program is more than reading a few good books, although that’s what librarians like. “Dig into Reading” is the theme for this summer program, and with it comes raffles, entertainment, and storytimes; along with raising money for a good cause just by reading books.

If you do find yourself lost among our stacks, here are some recommended books highlighting the theme of “Dig Into Reading”:


“Just Dig It”

Gardensrabbits reading

 Secrets of the garden : food chains and the food web in our backyard / Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld ; illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

I Have a Garden / Bob Barner

Waiting for wings / Lois Ehler

My garden / Kevin Henkestruck


Construction Vehicles


Roadwork / Sally Sutton ; illustrated by Brian Lovelock

The construction crew / Lynn Meltzer ; illustrated by Carrie Eko-Burgess

Get to Work, Trucks! / by Don Carter

The Little Dump Truck / Margery Cuyler ; illustrated by Bob Kolar


Pirate Treasureshovel

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs : Missing Treasure! / written by Giles Andreae ; illustrated by Russell Ayto

1001 Pirate Things to Spot / Rob Lloyd Jones ; illustrated by Teri Gower

Pirate Pete : “Where There’s Gold I’m a Goin'” / by Kim Kennedy ; illustrated by Doug Kennedy
Pirates vs. Cowboys / by Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by David Barneda
“Dig Into the Past”
An Egyptian tomb / Brian Moses ; illustrated by Adam Hook
Egypt / Joyce Tyldesley

The best book of mummies / Philip Steele

Mummies of the pharaohs : exploring the Valley of the Kings / by Melvin Berger and Gilda Berger


Dinosaur Bones

Fossils / by Sally M. Walker

Fossils : Clues to Ancient Life / Rona Arato

Dinosaur fossils / by Leonie Bennett

Fantastic fossils / Christine Petersen




Two bad ants / Chris Van Allsburgants

The life and times of the ant / by Charles Micucci

Hey little ant / Philip and Hannah Hoose ; illustrations by Debbie Tilley

Step by step / Diane Wolkstein ; illustrated by Jos. A. Smith


Mole’s Hill : a Woodland Tale / Lois Ehlert

Mole’s Babies / by David Bedford ; illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Rock ‘n’ roll Mole / Carolyn Crimi ; pictures by Lynn Munsinger

The best gift of all / Jonathan Emmett ; illustrated by Vanessa Cabban



Yucky worms / Vivian French ; illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg

Ned’s new home / Kevin Tseng

Diary of a worm / by Doreen Cronin ; pictures by Harry Bliss

Bug zoo / Nick Baker ; [US editor, Margaret Parrish]


“Digging up Trouble”

Trolls and Gnomes


Trouble with trolls / Jan Brett

That’s what leprechauns do / by Eve Bunting ; illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

The tale of Tricky Fox : a New England trickster tale / retold by Jim Aylesworth ; illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Trick of the tale : a collection of trickster tales / John & Caitlin Matthews ; illustrated by Tomislav Tomi?

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Dig Into Reading – Summer Reading Program 2013

This summer, we’re going beneath the surface into animal burrows, bat caves, tunnels, and mummy lairs.  We’ll dig into gardens and hunt for fossils!  Let’s explore and celebrate all things underground as we Dig Into Reading by reading together this summer.

How the Summer Reading Program works:
1) Create a reading log…
Visit the Children’s Department to sign-up for your free reading log beginning June 7th.  Your goal is to read 5 books before August 10th.  You can do it!  Longer books (think Harry Potter!) will count as more than 1 book.  For every book a child reads or is read to, record it in the reading log, deposit a token into our Reading Rabbit Tunnel, and start on a new book.
2) Win Prizes…
Every week during the Summer Reading Program (starting Friday, June 21st), you can enter for a chance to win a prize – including gift certificates to Frosty Freez, Island Books, Newport Creamery, and more!  Just visit the Children’s Room Desk and show us your progress in your reading log to be stamped, and you can submit an entry into our weekly raffle.
3) Read 5 books to be invited to our Ice Cream Sundae Party on Saturday, August 10th at 11am!

If you’ve read 5 books for your reading log, you’ll receive:
  • 2 free books of your choosing,
  • a book dedicated to you in the library,
  • an Ice Cream Party here at the library!
 Scheduled Performers and Dates:
All programs are FREE.  Some programs require pre-registration and have limited seating.  Please check our website for details on each program.
  • Wednesday, June 26th at 11am:  Music with Sarah Gardner: Underground Songs.  Ages 2 and up.
  • Wednesday, July 10th at 11:45am:  Animal World Experiences: Dino Discovery.  Ages 4 and up.
  • Wednesday, July 17th at 11am:  Mad Science.  Ages 5 and up.
  • Monday, July 22nd at 11am: Rick Morin and the Rhythm Imaginarium.  60 limited seats available, register with Children’s Department.  Ages 4 and up.
  • Wednesday, July 31st at 2pm: Bwana Iguana with Ray Ward.  Ages 4 and up.
  • Wednesday, August 7th at 10:30am: Dig into Reading with Malik the Magic Guy!  Ages 4 and up.
  • Saturday, August 10th at 11am: Summer Ice Cream Party.  This party is for children who have met their reading goal for the summer.  Enjoy a frozen treat, your reading certificate, and pick out your 2 free books!  If you have met your goal but will miss the party, we’ll have book prizes available for you to pick up until mid-September.

This year, in support of the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge Center here in Middletown, we are Reading for Rabbits.  By reading together, we can help make a donation to a wonderful place that offers free nature trails for everyone to enjoy.

For every book that a child reads, they get a “token” from the librarian to put into our Reading Rabbit Hole at the library.  This token will be matched in funding from the Friends of the Middletown Public Library to make a donation to Sachuest.

The more books you read, the more money you raise – so let’s see how much money we can put in our Reading Rabbit Hole this summer!

Storytimes will also be available throughout the summer.
Please check our monthly schedule in the library as well as online at for dates and times.
Also, please visit the library for free or discounted passes to local attractions throughout the summer.

The statewide Rhode Island Summer Reading Program is supported by the RI Office of Library and Information Services with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, McDonald’s Local Owner/Operators of Rhode Island, the Pawtucket Red Sox, Citizens Bank and Pepsi. Local support includes RI Children’s and Young Adult Librarians, and the Friends of the Middletown Public Library.

A special Thank You to the Friends of the Middletown Public Library for their support of the Summer Reading Program!
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Summer Reading Ice Cream Party

Dream BIG Ice Cream Party

Read 5 books for your summer reading log as part of the Summer Reading Program to be invited to our Ice Cream Party on Saturday, August 25th at 11am!

If you’ve read 5 books for your reading log, you’ll receive:
  • 2 free books of your choosing,
  • a book dedicated to you in the library,
  • a reading certificate,
  • and an ice cream party here at the library!

This party is only for children who have registered for the Summer Reading Program and met their reading goal for the summer (5 books).  If you have met your goal but will miss the party, we’ll have a Summer Reading Bag for you to pick up until mid-September.

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Bats! Bats! Bats!

The final Big Dreamer’s Summer Storytime theme was bats: swimming bats, beach combing bats, and singing bats.

A large festival of bats in “Bat Jamboree” by Kathi Appelt held everyone’s attention as fifty-five bats counted to 10 and then back again to create a giant bat pyramid.  The Bat Lady gets to sing in the last act bringing the crowd to their feet.


A lonely bat at the zoo wants to be as popular as the other animals and sets off to see if he can learn to be popular too in “Batty” by Sarah Dyer.  He visits the penguins, lions, monkeys, and birds, all pointing out to Batty that he is limited.  What Batty didn’t realize was that he had made lots of friends in trying to be popular.


A family of bats heads off into the night to visit the ocean in Brian Lies’s “Bats at the Beach”.   Fun is in the air as the bats do everything what a “night” at the beach would bring, especially wearing “moon-tan” lotion.


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Star Light! Star Bright!

What could stop the Moon from smiling?!  In “When the Moon Smiled” by Petr Horacek, the evening Moon is unhappy at what he sees happening on the farm. The night time animals are sleeping, and day time animals are awake.  Moon reverses the situation  by slowly lighting the night sky with stars and soon everything is back to normal.


In, Stars! Stars! Stars! by Bob Barner, a young boy’s interest in the night sky sets him off though the solar system. Starting with our sun he travels from planet to planet identifying each as he goes along.  It’s a story celebrating the starry heavens.



The nursery rhyme, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” retold by Jane Taylor follows a curious chipmunk. The small creature questions all the shining things he encounters from dew covered spiderwebs to fire flies buzzing by. With added verses this dream like story takes off.




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An Amazing August

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