Nursery Rhymes and Songs

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. People are gathered together. There’s lots of food, and talking. Unfortunately, your toddler is not happy and ready for a meltdown. It may be because of the obvious hungry, tired and diaper needs changing, or simple overload from so many people and being ignored.

If your usual trick of distraction doesn’t work, try a nursery rhyme or two. I’ve had enormous success with singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider with many children. Of course it may be that having a stranger waving her hands and croaking out a tune is  so alien to the child they stop crying in amazement. Or, it may be that a familiar tune has a calming effect and someone else is paying attention to them.

In any case, carrying around an action play or song in your mind is a lot easier than carrying around another toy that could easily be left behind. Get the entire family involved. See who remembers the most rhymes and songs from their childhood. If you can’t remember the words, make some up. You may not have noticed that many of the tunes to nursery rhymes are used over and over. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for example, uses the same tune as the ABC song.  Getting your little one familiar with the tune, puts your child that much closer to learning their ABC’s.

Nursery rhymes and songs also help teach your young  child to hear the beat and rhythm of language which is linked with  the skill of syllable separation and to help teach prediction. Knowledge of nursery rhymes can also be a strong predictor of later reading success. So sing with gusto with the entire family this Thanksgiving. You’ll be doing both you and your child a favor.


Humpty Dumpty ….. After the Fall


So many authors have wondered what happened to Humpty Dumpty after the “great fall”, and they’ve come up with some terrific picture books to entertain that idea! Here are some titles for you and your child to explore.

For our very youngest library customer, we have Humpty Dumpty by Jonas Sicklar. If you are not familiar with the “Indestructibles” books, they are designed for the way babies “read” – with their hands and mouth. This version of Humpty Dumpty has the egg man on the Great Wall of China!

Next up is Humpty Dumpty by Daniel Kirk. After Humpty climbs the proverbial brick wall to get a better look at the young king in his birthday parade, the obvious fall happens, and it’s young King Moe who puts Humpty back together, “like a puzzle”!

In Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again by Dave Horowitz, Humpty’s shell has been fixed, but he’s lost his confidence. The author cleverly inserts other popular nursery rhyme characters in this “eggsistensial tale of hope”.

For beginning readers, check out Humpty’s Fall by Dosh Archer, one of the Urgency Emergency! Early Readers series. In this fun adventure, Humpty arrives at the hospital with a cracked shell and severe yolk seepage …. can the doctors at City Hospital save him?

Two fun picture books by Joe Dumpty (as told to Jeanie Franz Ransom) are What REALLY Happened to Humpty? and The Crown Affair (both are from the files of a hard-boiled detective! These stories take place in Mother Gooseland, so you’ll be sure to see some of your favorite characters making an appearance.

We have a series of picture books called Flip-Side Rhymes, where half-way through the book, you must flip the book to get another side of the rhyme. By Christopher Harbo, you may not want to read this Humpty Dumpty version if you are appalled by the ending … [SPOILER ALERT!!!] … poor Humpty gets scrambled and eaten!

Bob Graham tells the story of Humpty’s little sister in Dimity Dumpty. The author believes that Humpty’s notoriety for not doing much at all (basically just falling off a wall!) was not very clever, so he’s telling the story of his little sister, who was quite the heroine.

In Ode to Humpty Dumpty by Harriet Ziefert, the author blends the traditional rhyme with new characters. The whole book is done in rhyme, which makes it fun and playful.

And finally, the book that inspired the title of this post, is After the Fall – How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat. From the book jacket: “Inspiring and unforgettable, this epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme will encourage even the most afraid to overcome their fears, learn to get back up – and reach new heights”.

Miss Teresa

Holiday Reading Traditions

As we get nearer to Christmas, I’m gearing up for one of my favorite holiday traditions with my kiddos- 25 days of Christmas books! I love making reading an integral part of our family traditions, and this is a truly meaningful way for us to both celebrate the season, expand our love of books, and bond together in shared reading. Every year, come November, I pull out my box of Christmas books, gathered over the years from Goodwill raids, yard sale finds, hand-me downs and library book sales. It’s surprisingly easy to find amazing Christmas books on the cheap, especially in November, before the holiday rush really picks up steam, so start your collection now! I wrap up each one, and starting December first, every evening, my Ruby and Edwin each get a book to unwrap and read before bedtime. As the years have passed, they treat the return of each book like the return of a long- lost friend, so excited to see and read them again. Our lives are so rushed, it’s hard to squeeze in meaningful holiday traditions, and while this is a small one, it means so much to all of us and is such a simple way to celebrate the season together.

So pull out your Christmas books, wrap them up, and start counting down to Christmas!


Miss Janna

Nursery Rhyme Time: Humpty Dumpty



Humpy Dumpty sat on a wall…

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall….

Can you complete the rhyme?  We find that many adults are not familiar with children’s  nursery rhymes anymore, but there are good reasons that they should be!

Learning nursery rhymes help children develop language and vocabulary – and help them form the foundation for learning to rhyme words on their own.  Many nursery rhymes also contain phrases that start with words that all have the same beginning sounds, so this helps children begin to become aware of the sounds of their language.

As children learn these traditional rhymes, they exercise and stretch their memory skills, which helps them prepare to memorize future materials, such as the alphabet, sight words, or math facts.

So, brush up on your nursery rhymes, and teach them to your children!

To get you started, here’s the full rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the King’s horses,

And all the King’s men,

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

To extend the fun of learning the rhyme, here’s a craft you can make with your child. I created the pattern based off this craft my son Adam made over 20 years ago!

  1. Color and cut out the Humpty Dumpty body and legs.
  2. Color a sheet of paper to resemble a wall.
  3. Glue Humpty’s legs to the wall.
  4. Attach Humpty’s body to the legs with a brad.
  5. As you say the rhyme Humpty can swivel as he falls!

Have fun! To learn more, here are links to good web articles on why nursery rhymes are important:

Miss Teresa

Ice Breaker Books for kids

One of my favorite kids’ books is NAKED! by Michael Ian Black.


Naked! is a fun & fast paced story kids really enjoy. I read it with lots of enthusiasm and by the third naked I’m usually not alone saying, “Naked!” The illustrations are wonderful. I find this a good book for breaking the ice with kids that you have just met.  Check below for some other great books for breaking the ice with kids!


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald

The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black

I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Let’s Go For a Drive! by Mo Willems

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere

Max at Night by Ed Vere

That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe and Susan Tuma


What is your favorite book for breaking the ice with new kids?

Miss Sarah


Homework Help

Make Homework a Success at the Library


With the homework starting to flow in, don’t let the projects, lack of information or space dampen your child’s spirits on completing assignments. If you are noticing that it is difficult for your child to settle down to their homework because of distractions such as the TV or music, you may find that a different location like the library can be helpful for your child to focus. The Moline Public Library has much to offer in homework help.



There are many areas in the library that will allow a student to spread out to complete a project. We have 2 study rooms just for students under 13 in the Children’s Dept. These are available for use on a first come, first serve basis. To use one, stop at the Children’s Desk to be allowed in. You will also find numerous tables throughout the main floor of the library, many are near outlets to plug in laptops or other devices needed for homework. These tables are great for working on posters and other large projects.


Wifi and Other Computer Services

We offer computers for use until 15 minutes before closing and free WiFi for your laptops. Be certain to bring your library card to access the computers. Black and white copies are .25 per page, color pages are .50 per page. You can print from your laptop using the wireless printing through our WiFi.

On the 2nd floor, there is a scanner that will scan items to your email address or a flash drive.

Two headphones can be attached to a single computer so you and your child can work on a site together. If you would rather do work at home but need an Internet connection, the library has a limited number of hotspots to check out that are available on a first come, first serve basis with a valid library card.



The great thing about doing homework or projects at the library is that if you need additional information for a report, you can easily locate what you need either on the Internet or in the library. Need magazine or journal articles? Those can be found on our webpage ( under Catalogs and Databases in a database called MasterFile Premier. You can also acquire help through our webpage on (also found under Catalogs and Databases) with an online tutor to help with homework questions. Both of these databases can be accessed at the library or at home with your Moline Public Library card.


Library Staff

Library staff can help in a variety of ways.

We can help you locate information, find valid websites, help you use the databases, pull books for you and even offer suggestions on other ways to approach the student’s topic. If you bring in the homework assignment, we can make certain your child is interpreting the assignment correctly. For example, the teacher may be asking for a non-fiction book and the child asks for a story instead of book with information.

If the library doesn’t have what is needed for the assignment, we can request items from other libraries and fill out a form for the teacher so they know an attempt was made to complete the assignment.

If you need a book right away, call us at 309-524-2480 and we will be happy to pull it for you to be picked up at the front desk. If we do not have it in, we can tell you which library in the area has it so you do not spend lots of time going from one library to the next.



When you and your child are ready for a change from your homework routine, stop by the library.

We cannot do your child’s homework, but we can definitely make acquiring the needed research easier.

Miss Christina

Freedom to Read

Freedom to read is hard. Very hard.  It is so easy to say a book isn’t appropriate for someone else to read. Then I think, how would I feel if someone wouldn’t let me read a book I wanted or felt the need to read? I had a real wake-up call when I was taking a Young Adult Literature class many years ago. I was assigned to read the book We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier. I had such a strong reaction to the first few chapters that I refused to finish it. It was horrible, violent, cruel, appalling. I could not imagine any reason to read it or why it should even exist on the planet. I eventually went back to it because it was required reading.  I did it under protest.

When I completed the book, I began to understand. The characters were true. You followed many of them first hand, learned of their motivations and went with them on their journey as they sorted out feelings, learned from their experiences and met with the consequences of their actions. It made you think and analyze. I began to understand the value of the book. There is a need for some young adults to experience violence through a book in order to make sense of why it happens in the world.  It was a valuable lesson for me. Not only can’t I judge a book by its cover, I can’t judge it by the first few chapters. Would I read the book again? No. Furthermore, I would be careful before I recommended it to someone else. However, it does teach a needed lesson which is why libraries all over the nation kept it on their shelves when it was being banned in 1993.

Freedom to read is very hard, but I’m glad we live in a country where we have that freedom.

Miss Christina