This Week at Moline Public Library

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Review: Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker



From the publisher:

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.

When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.


I admit, I was skeptical by the premise of this book. Scary stories…for animals? Young animals? But I like foxes, and I like scary stories, so I was willing to give it a shot. And I’m so glad I did, because this book was a hit for me. Scary stories for kids are tricky; most standard horror fare is not kid-friendly, but young readers will protest at anything that’s not scary enough. So I have to give kudos to Christian McKay Heidicker for coming up with the perfect solution by making all of the characters (save one surprisingly familiar human antagonist) animals. The threats to our adorable fox kit characters are both realistic and scary, including hunters’ traps, badgers, and in my personal favorite of the stories, rabies. I was almost immediately attached to our two main characters, Uly and Mia, and rooted for them to overcome the terrifying trials that threaten them. I also really liked the framing of the story, where seven fox kits are listening to these scary stories that build on one another. After each story, one kit is too frightened to continue and goes home, but the rest beg the elderly storyteller to know what happens next.

I will warn you that Heidicker doesn’t pull any punches and is realistic about the brutality of nature. Some animals do die. Some family members are cruel. Not everyone gets a happy ending. But, as the publisher recommends, if you/your child enjoys Coraline, Goosebumps, The Night Gardener, or The Graveyard Book, then they are sure to enjoy Scary Stories for Young Foxes. Ages 10 and up, highly recommended.

Check it out on the catalog here!

Miss Jessica


What We Did In Storytime: Rhythm and Rhyme

We were reading to rhythm this week in Storytime for Littles!

Opening Song: Well Hello Everybody Can You Touch Your Nose?

Source: jbrary

This song is fun on it’s own and easily adapted for newborns and infants by having caregivers rock or bounce to the rhythm and tap or tickle the body part called out in the song.  Today we added another fun dimension to this song and used shaker eggs with it. The kids loved it and handing out our first instrument of the day as my friends came in to storytime allowed us to dive right into our activities!

Monkey and Me

by Emily Gravett

If you want a fun books with rhythm and lots of chance for kids to interact, this book is it!  We kept our shaker eggs during this story because I wanted the kids to listen to the rhythm of the words and tap along.



Rhyme: Shaker Eggs Up!

Source: Cape May County Library

Our crowd loves their shaker eggs so I didn’t want to end our shaker egg time with just any rhyme.  I love that this rhyme let us have fun shaking our sillies out and then quieting our eggs and tucking them in until next time.  The littles loved putting their eggs to sleep!


Be Quiet, Mike!

by Leslie Patricelli


Full disclosure: I almost didn’t read this book even though I LOVE this book.  It is really geared more at preschool aged kiddos because of the length.  It has such good rhythm and a great message though so I kept trying to find a way to include it because I felt like our littles could get something good out of it if they could stick with it.  To make it work, I paper-clipped a huge chunk of the story to skip over.  Even doing that, it was still long for the littles age group.

I debated quite awhile on whether or not to ditch it or try it and decided to try it for an important reason: storytime is more than sharing great early literacy skills with the kids.  It’s also about helping the parents know how to share books with their littles.  If this story didn’t go as planned during storytime, I hoped parents might be able to relate to me and see that not every book you pick up to share is going to grab your child’s attention for one reason or another.  It still is a valuable experience and there is no shame in admitting defeat and moving on to another story or activity.

UPDATE: This story was pretty successful!  We even used shaker eggs with it during our second session!


Rhythm Stick Songs: If You Have Some Rhythm Sticks and Tap Your Sticks

Source: Jbrary

I was terrified and excited all at the same time.  I had visions of kids bonking and poking each other, but despite that, they are such a fun instrument to play with and a great tool for helping kids develop rhythm, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination!  We pushed our fears down and tried rhythm sticks with the littles for the first time this summer and let me tell ya, the kids did great!  All of my fears had been for nothing.  The listened to directions, held the sticks on their shoulders when we weren’t using them, and best of all, had a ball using them!  I knew I wanted to pull them back out and the kids were just as excited as I was to get to use them again.

What I didn’t use today:

We had so much fun with our rhythm sticks and shaker eggs, we needed to cut a story and start playing.  This story is awesome and a great way to extend what we did in storytime today!

Plinka Plinka Shake Shake

by Emma Garcia

The newest book by Garcia is a great one to share with littles on up!  It introduces a variety of instruments and their sounds to kids and puts them together at the end to make some fun songs.  I did clip some pages together to make this work since it was our last book but one on one I’m sure a little one could get through the entire thing no problem.



During playtime today, I had a lot of grown-ups asking me about how we made our colored rice in our sensory bin.  It is a total hit with our Littles, so if you want to try it at home with your own little, click here to see the amazing (and easy!) recipe we got over at  We used water color paint instead of food coloring and it worked just great!  This rice has held up beautifully even after a couple months of play.

And that’s what we did in Storytime for Littles today!  Check back next week to see what Miss Jessica has up her sleeve!

Miss Marta


Five on Friday: Literacy Link Round Up

five on friday.png

Happy Friday! I’ve got another link round-up for you for this month’s Five on Friday, including helpful tips, movie read-alikes, and debates on the relevance of Holden Caulfield.

  1. It’s no secret that kids today are busier than ever. Here are some expert tips to keep them reading.
  2. It’s never too soon to start reading to your child, even if they haven’t been born yet! Book Riot has some interesting information about what your baby can hear and suggestions for what to read to your baby in utero.
  3. Check out these Read-Alikes for children’s movies coming out this fall! This list includes books similar to Abominable, The Addams Family, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and Sonic the Hedgehog.
  4. Move over, Jay Gatbsy: Debates about back-to-school reading lists have come up around the internet. What books do you think should be added to the high school canon?
  5. There’s a new Wayside School book on the way! Louis Sachar announced that for the first time since 1995, he has written a new book for the Wayside School series. I remembering loving these when I was a kid and they are still popular today, so I can’t wait to see what comes next. Wayside School: Beneath the Cloud of Doom will be out in March of 2020.

And that’s all for this month’s Five on Friday! I hope you all enjoy checking out what’s going on in the kidlit world. Be sure to check back in October, same bat time, same bat channel for the next 5 on Friday.

Miss Jessica